Animal encounters can be pretty weird but this has got to be up there with the most bizarre we have seen. Nature is full of alphas – vying for dominance, trying to establish that they are the boss. This is what appears to be happening in this standoff between a wolf and grizzly. We learn from the video notes that this fight is all about food. Apparently, there is a carcass in the river and these guys are on the riverbank fighting about it. Both wolves and bears are fairly flexible about what they will eat and will not turn their noses up at a carcass, especially if food is scarce.
Food Fight on the River Bank
As we join the vid, the bear is acting pretty laid back, but the wolf is displaying classic aggressive body language with pulled-back lips and bared teeth. Yet, as soon as the bear makes a move, the wolf jumps backward. The grizzly moves around, using its bulk to block access to the river and eventually lunging at the wolf in an attempt to chase them away. The wolf comes back with bared teeth but in a bizarre turn of events, the bear calls a halt to the proceedings to have a poop! Just when you thought things couldn’t get weirder, the wolf decides that they need one too and takes a poop right next to the bear. The footage of these two alpha rivals taking a synchronized poop whilst facing away from each is simply hilarious.
Poops and Communication
Even though we may find this amusing, the animals are clearly not doing this for our entertainment. Of course, they may have needed a poop at the same time but they could also be using defecation as an act of dominance. We know that wolves use scats (poops) to mark their territory and often leave them at crossroads and other conspicuous areas. Domestic dogs kick at their poops for a similar reason.
So, what about bears? There are reports of them pooping near feeding areas and this may be associated with marking. However, hunters claim that bears defecate when they are stressed or when they have been spooked. This bear may be reacting to the aggressive approach of the wolf.
Bears and wolves can co-exist but may come into conflict over carcasses. The bear may be attracted to the smell of an animal that a wolf has killed. On the whole, bears are larger and more powerful than wolves but wolves are more agile and usually get out of the way of an angry bear!
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