As these stunning images depict, the struggle for survival is a daily occurrence when wolf and elk meet in the wild.
For a nature photographer, capturing a scene of epic predation is akin to winning the lottery. Yes, it isn’t pretty. But it depicts the real and very much raw struggle to survive that takes place daily in the animal world.
Christopher Martin, a professional photographer based in Alberta, Canada, was touring Banff National Park on February 20 with camera in tow. When he happened upon an elk uneasily moving back and forth across a railway overpass, he knew he was in for a scene fraught with the struggle for survival.
Shooting with a long lens, Martin was able to keep a distance of between 150 and 200 meters. Between the wolves initially stalking, then circling, and ultimately taking the elk down, the event lasted approximately 20 minutes.
Wolves are highly intelligent animals, both utilizing strategy and working cohesively as a team when on the hunt. In the case of the elk, it really came down to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Nature. Both beautiful and brutal. But something incredible to lay witness to.
Photos: Christopher Martin