Work smarter, not harder.
In the wild, it’s first come, first served, the fittest survives, only the fittest survive, and most critters go to extreme lengths to make sure they’re fed.
But… even in the wild there are such things as free riders, and I’m not talking about scavengers.
A particular grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park had the brilliant idea of following a pack of wolves in search of their prey. And no, the grizzly wasn’t there to make friends.
Corresponding The hillthis grizzly followed the wolf pack from Junction Butte when they were in the middle of a moose hunt in October 2021. The wolves tracked down a moose, and when they caught it, the grizzly made sure it didn’t go hungry.
It jumped in and stole the carcass and took home a nice meal.
This “rare phenomenon” is known as kleptoparasitism, where one animal steals the resources of another animal/animal pack.
The National Park Service (NPS) commented on the rare occurrence:
“This bear seems to have found that following the wolves in the morning increases his chances of encountering a high-calorie meal.”
The NPS also said wolves usually give in to bears because it jeopardizes their own safety, since they know they don’t stand much of a chance against the much larger creatures and they just wait their turn.
Keeping up with the wolves
According to the NPS, this is a rare occurrence as it takes a lot of energy for the bear to follow a wolf pack, but can be very rewarding as a moose carcass is high in protein and fat, which is vital for hibernation.
“On the morning of October 21, 2021, visitors viewing wildlife in the northern Yellowstone mountain range were amazed to see an adult grizzly bear apparently hunting with the Junction Butte wolf pack for moose. Wolves and bears usually compete with each other for prey, so why might this be happening?
Wolves usually give way to oncoming bears. Since the hunt is dangerous and often unsuccessful, it is better for wolves to wait their turn at a carcass snatched by a bear than to continue the hunt.
From the bear’s point of view, it takes a lot of energy to follow a pack of wolves, but the reward is high when it successfully takes over a carcass. A fresh moose carcass is a wonderful source of fat and protein for a grizzly bear preparing for hibernation.
This bear seems to have found that following the wolves in the morning increases his chances of encountering a high-calorie meal.”
Have you ever worked on a group project where a fool doesn’t do any of the work but still gets a good grade?
This is nature’s version of it…
Minnesota wolf pups are too cute
Just when you thought the video of a wild little one Wolf pup tries to howl was the most adorable thing we have ever posted on this site, we have a new contender for this crown.
A wildlife cam in Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota recently captured not just a tiny wolf pup, but a whole litter of pups scurrying about their den.
Wolves in the park are closely monitored by the Voyageurs Wolf Project.
“The Half Moon pack had the largest litter of any pack this year with 8 puppies.
The biggest litter we ever documented was 9 puppies so that was pretty close to the record!
A large litter of puppies does not necessarily mean more wolves in that pack next winter. The pups have to walk in “summer” gauntlets, so to speak, to survive low food availability/hunger, avoid disease, and avoid predators.
Case Study: The Lightfoot Pack had 7 puppies last year but all of the puppies died.
We know a couple of puppies starved to death and one was killed by the Half Moon pack. We’re not sure what killed the others, but suspect starvation.
And so the Lightfoot Pack remained just a breeding pair this winter, despite its large litter. Let’s see if the Half Moon litter does better!”
However, this isn’t the only litter of wolf pups that’s causing a stir.
The first earlier this year Litter of wild wolf pups born in Colorado since the 1940s has been confirmed by the Colorado Department of Parks & Wildlife.
https://www.whiskeyriff.com/2022/09/23/yellowstone-grizzly-bear-steals-elk-kill-from-entire-pack-of-wolves/ Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Steals Elk Kill From Entire Pack Of Wolves