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Yellowstone food fight ~ a grizzly and wolf fight for food

A grey wolf tries to steal bites of food from a grizzly bear the grizzly stole from the kill from the pack of wolves. The tenacity of the grey wolf facing a much larger and stronger predator is very entertaining to watch.

Three Wolves

Three Wolves

In the new world of Yellowstone National Park since wolf reintroduction in 1995 ecological dynamics have changed.  The wolf, an apex predator after being eliminated in the 1930’s Yellowstone’s ecosystem changed, in 1995 it changed back.

Wolves are very efficient predators; the grizzly bears are bigger than the wolves. The wolves kill the prey then the grizzlies take the kill away from the wolves. The Yellowstone Grizzly has been one of the benefactors of wolf reintroduction because of the bonanza of protein that had been much harder to get, as grizzlies aren’t as efficient hunters as the wolves.

The wolves get their share, after the bears have eaten their fill they often leave then the wolves return. On a large bison carcass this can play out multiple times over the period of days.

The only times the wolves are denied their entire kill is when they make a kill incontinently close to the road. When wolf kills cause traffic jams Yellowstone’s bear management team takes the carcass to the carcass dump where neither the grizzly or wolf get to eat it. This is when the wolves have to go make another kill exacerbating the problem of the greatly reduced number of elk in Yellowstone.

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