This Grizzly and Gray Wolf Can’t Figure Out Who Is Alpha In Tense Standoff

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: October 18, 2023
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Grizzly bears and wolves are two of the toughest animals in North America. While grizzly bears are immensely powerful solitary creatures, gray wolves thrive in packs. In the case of this grizzly and gray wolf standoff, neither of them wants to back down in front of the other. After all, there could be a meal on the line, and the lone wolf isn’t ready to give in.

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According to the video found at the bottom of this page, the grizzly bear is guarding a carcass that’s in the river offscreen. Yet, the video does not show it. The gray wolf bristles at the presence of the grizzly bear, which doesn’t seem all that concerned. The wolf growls and the grizzly bear sniffs the ground, unconcerned.

The gray wolf seems to be put off by the fact that the grizzly bear is not reacting to it. The gray wolf lunges and stands in front of the grizzly. Meanwhile, the bear continues to sniff the ground. The bear isn’t that concerned with the potential fight.

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The grizzly bear finally decides to acknowledge the gray wolf, and the latter takes up the challenge. It leaps back and growls at the bear, ready for a fight. The grizzly bear isn’t ready to give it one, though. The gray wolf continues to growl, bears its teeth, and moves to cut off the bear’s escape route.

The grizzly bear isn’t looking to run, though.  It just wants to eat the carrion in peace. The wolf isn’t ready to leave, though.

Excuse Me…Nature Calls

Portrait of an arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos), also known as the white wolf or polar wolf.

In a face-off between a lone wolf and a grizzly, the grizzly will likely get its way.


The tension reaches a breaking point. Something serious is about to happen. The grizzly and gray wolf standoff takes a sudden, unexpected turn. The bear backs up a few steps, squats down, and defecates. Meanwhile, the gray wolf decides to give the bear a little space. The wolf walks off a few paces and stares off in the opposite direction.

The gray wolf is not about to start fighting while the bear is taking care of its business. Now that the fight has temporarily paused, the gray wolf decides that it has to take care of some business of its own. The wolf squats and begins to defecate as well.

Thus, the grizzly and gray wolf fight trails off. After the wolf has finished, it doesn’t demonstrate any further aggression. Thus, the two animals seem to call it quits and end the battle. If this did come to blows, the grizzly bear would probably win. It has the strength, size, and aggression needed to put down the bear.

Interestingly, this bear isn’t all that big yet. They can grow up to 4 feet tall, 1,000 pounds, and over 7 feet long! Still, if the gray wolf brought its friends around, the grizzly bear would have a serious fight on its hands. For now, the two animals are happy to have vented, but the issue of who claims the carcass is outstanding.  

The photo featured at the top of this post is © schaef71/

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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