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Yellowstone crowds witness wolf-bison standoff

Wolf-bison
The day-and-a-half struggle between an ailing bison and a wolf in Yellowstone National Park came to an end about dusk on Tuesday.

According to park rangers, the beta male of the Canyon Pack brought the bison down in a meadow about 200 yards from a main park road. During the night the entire pack fed on the dead bison.

The pack--the park's smallest, with three adults and three pups--returned Wednesday morning but left again. In the full expression of nature's democracy, an array of animals and birds came to the site to pick the at carcass.

Coyotebison By Wednesday afternoon, a pair of coyotes were defending their turf against incursion from a group of ravens.

The wolf, known to some as Limpy because of  a slight limp from an old injury, is the beta or subordinate male in the Canyon Pack, but he is a large and bold animal.

While his stalking drama played out over two days in front of dozens of tourists and an equal number of professional photographers--the traffic jam was tremendous--the wolf  appeared unperturbed and focused.

Yellowstone's wolves will soon be moving to their winter ground, following the elk to higher elevations. But an unseasonal warmth has kept many of the park's big animals in the valleys and lowlands for tourists to enjoy.

--Julie Cart

Photos: A lone male wolf harries a female bison; Coyotes feast on the remains of its carcass.

Photo: Julie Cart/Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (8)

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Well.......life is about survival of the fittest, however I do dislike seeing this being made into a spectacle. We all know what goes on just to survive in the wilds......well that was an oxymoron huh? It's the same on the streets. ha!

You can tell Julie Cart is one of the tourists she speaks of in this article. Her last statement on the wolves following the elk to higher ground in winter is totally backwards. The elk and other animals come down to the valleys in winter to avoid the heavier snow in the altitudes thus making the wolf/animal watching wonderful in the Lamar Valley. Believe me I live nearby and go there numerous times every winter. This publication should check their facts.

Nice to hear how it all played out. Sunday was a great thing to be able to witness with a group of college students From Rocky Mountain College. I teach a Digital Nature Photography course at the college and we were on our two day class trip to the park. The students had an amazing time watching this unfold.

Our account is online here:
http://www.rocky.edu/academics/programs/art/YNP-Trips.shtml
(as well as links to some of my students photos)

I have a number of photos from Sunday online here:
http://www.shumwayphotography.com/gallery/14146606_8jNMz#1043774003_s7vLm
(especially nice are the images of the bull Bison attempting to run off the Wolf in defense of the cow)

If only we could have stayed longer to see the end unfold.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Amazing photos... This story surely warmed the hearts of all the wolf-lovers out there. However, I wonder what the buffalo herd thought of this story and... its gruesome ending. Just a thought, L.A. Times, just a thought...

Elk migrate to lower elevations, not higher ones. Read here:

http://www.henrysforkcountry.com/atf.php?sid=400&current_edition=2010-01-01

Elk migrate to LOWER elevations, where there is less or no snow, so they can find food. Read here:
http://www.henrysforkcountry.com/atf.php?sid=400&current_edition=2010-01-01

Nice story, but you need better researchers. Wolves, Elk, Bison, Deer and other migratory animals move down during the winter away from the cold, to where the food supplies are when there is snow on the ground.


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