This Timid Wolf Tries To Steal A Whole Elk From A Gigantic Grizzly

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: October 21, 2023
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Key Points

  • A giant grizzly is enjoying an afternoon next to their kill – a huge elk.
  • Near the grizzly bear is a wolf that appears to be scrounging around for food.
  • As the wolf gets closer to the dead elk, the bear barely moves an inch and sends the wolf running off in terror.

Watch This Wolf Go Up Against a Huge Grizzly!

Even with their giant horns, elks can be taken down by other animals in the wild. Elk bulls, which are adult males, reach their greatest size at age seven. A male elk can weigh between 700 and 1100 pounds at maturity and stands an average of five feet tall at the shoulders. Cows, or female elk, weigh between 500 and 600 pounds and have an average height at the shoulder of 4.5 feet.

Still, they’re no match for the ferocious grizzly bear. Even though full-grown grizzlies weigh less than elks, they’re an apex predator that is willing to take down any other animal that gets in their way. 

A video from Yellowstone National Park shows just how intense things can get in the wild. A giant grizzly is enjoying an afternoon next to their kill – a huge elk. The elk appears to be either buried under the sand of the shore or half eaten. 

Near the grizzly bear is a wolf that appears to be scrounging around for food. It’s shocking how close these two animals can get, whilst both minding their own business. Because they generally get along well, wolves and bears coexist in Yellowstone

But in Scandinavia, there are both wolf populations that endure in bear-infested areas and wolf communities that do not. It takes a surprisingly long time for the wolf to approach the elk carcass. It’s safe to assume it wanted to make sure the bear wouldn’t attack him. 

Watching the footage is almost funny. As the wolf gets closer to the dead elk, the bear barely moves an inch and sends the wolf running off in terror. This is what’s known as resource guarding. 

Guarding Your Resources

It’s most often seen by humans in domesticated dogs. If you’ve ever tried to take away a toy or a treat from a dog, they could growl, hold onto the object tight, or even start to bark. Animals see us humans, or in this case, a wolf, as taking away something they need to survive. 

The grizzly settles back down next to its catch and the wolf eventually makes his way back to the sandy shore. In Yellowstone National Park, grizzly bears have been seen preying on elk calves 60 times, with 29 confirmed kills. Some bears were purposeful hunters, and they successfully preyed on elk calves every spring for brief periods of time. 

Bears enjoy eating fruit, nuts, honey, and other plant materials. Although they occasionally consume fish and insects, most of their sustenance is obtained from plants. Bears can easily locate food with their noses since they have a keen sense of smell.

We’re happy this interaction between species in the beloved national park didn’t end in bloodshed. Wolves and bears can continue to live together in harmony. If we learned anything, you don’t want to be an elk living in Yellowstone! 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Next is nicer-K-R7/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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