18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
The Wild Game

Grizzly bear defends his elk kill from an intruding grey wolf in Yellowstone National Park Grizzly bear 791 claimed his 6-6 bull elk by drowning it in the Yellowstone River, in a graphic video that went viral. He immediately went to work digging out the river bank and burying his new feast both to preserve and cover the scent. I was very fortunate on this particularly morning for several reasons. The first being that the weather wasn’t terribly cold (about freezing), the river fog was light and low, and of course, because we had a close encounter with a grey wolf. The wolf was alone and therefore not much of a threat to the massive grizzly. It was more of a game to him to see how close the dominating bear would let him get to his kill. To my surprise, as proven by this image, he let him get very close. The wolf would slowly approach, the bear would make a slight shift in position, and the wolf would back off for awhile. This cycle occurred 4 times in my watching.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 09.2020
Date Uploaded: 09.2020
Photo Location: Canyon Village, Wyoming, United States of America
Camera: ILCE-7RM3
Copyright: © Seth Kroft