Yellowstone DIary 2019

July 15, 2019 – Wolf escort

There was a Bison death near the road, of natural causes, and that meant extremely good wildlife viewing. The Junction wolf pack was trying to defend the find. A Sow Grizzly and her two yearling cubs wanted some of the free food. But the wolf pack was not having any of it. So they dispatched four wolves to escort the Bear and cubs out of Dodge. Wolves can and do kill bear cubs but not apparently today.

Wolves have a very sophisticated social order. They have good leaders and bad. Harsh leaders and gentle ones. In this case it appears the wolves were given marching orders to escort the wolves but not harm them.

So the bears and the wolves are chasing each other around and nipping at each others heels. They appear to be fairly equally matched with the wolves having the advantages of speed and agility. The bears have a longer reach and big claws. After about a mile of this game. The sow grizzly sits down to nurse her cubs. Perfect time for the wolves to attack. But instead the wolves laid down and waited until she finished and then they all resumed their test of wills.

This continued until the bears crossed the Lamar river and the wolves then returned to the kill.

This is a frame grab from a video so the quality is poor but you see the sow grizzly sitting on the ground nursing her two cubs with the wolves waiting.