Krisztina Gayler Photo Essay: Grizzlies and Wolves
Grizzlies and Wolves at Yellowstone National Park
The wolves always need to watch out for their meal from April through November. Grizzly bears are showing up to steal their hard-earned meal. This time, this Grizzly momma came with her yearling cubs. We call her Slough Creek sow. The wolves know her.
Her territory is the same, what this wolf family has been claiming as their territory in Wolf World.
I watched Slough Creek sow in the year of 2018 at Slough Creek, when these cubs were newborn coys. This time, the yearlings were particularly fearless, and they were braving up as they felt their Mom’s protective power at the same time.
This yearling female of the powerful pack was curious, and really wanted to see what these bears were doing by her family’s “lunch table.” Her curiosity was truly triggered when she watched them rolling on the carcass constantly. When Mom was already feeding on it, the two cubs continued rolling in it. They barely were eating at this time.
After Mom stood up, looked, and sniffed around, she started to take off with the cubs. The young wolf followed.
As the grizzly family was passing by the wolf family, the pack started a harassing session on them. It went on a long time. It was nerve-racking to watch, as we all thought one of our well-known males would injure or try to kill a cub. But in reality they wanted them away from their young ones nearby, also from their meal. As she was a little further, the wolves stayed back, lying down like their mission was successfully completed. Here is the link for the video: Video of grizzly mom with cubs and wolves event.
It was a memory for a lifetime. The next morning, Slough sow and her cubs returned. They were not worried about the wolves at all. The wolves had full bellies, so they were not worried about them. But the young yearling followed them with another black wolf. One time it looked like the yearling wolf wanted to play with one of the cubs. It was incredible.
When the bears were about to leave the carcass, first the wolf followed them. But after she gave up and turned to the other direction, the Slough sow turned around and followed peacefully the wolf with her cubs.
The other adult wolves were nearby, only watching the event.
In the 4th image: The bears were far enough for the wolves’ comfort. It was time to recharge their energy by some good napping time.
The grizzly boar above drowned a huge bull elk in front of us in the Yellowstone River. Then he was sitting, feeding on it, guarding it for 5 days. This photo was taken in the evening, when this young black wolf showed up, checking out the boar 791M on the carcass. Video of the black wolf spying around brother grizzly.
As my great friend has been saying: “If I was born as a bear, I would want to be a grizzly” ~ Julie Argyle from Wild Love Images Wildlife Photography
Krisztina Gayler has been wolf watching in Yellowstone since 2013. She has also been: Colorado Representative at National Wolfwatcher Coalition since 2016; Coalition Member at Rocky Mountain Wolf Project 2017; Crew member at The 06 Legacy Nonprofit Wolf Advocate group 2018; Contractor at MoRak Farm & Ranch LLC 2016; Former Director 10 years at ReMounts Equine and Land LLC – Training horses, range rider, cattle work; Former Volunteer at Campaign for Yellowstone Wolves. (Photo: Krisztina at Yellowstone, September 2020. (c) Heidi Pinkerton)