Not everyone gets the privilege of witnessing nature's most intimidating moments. Photographers and videographers strive to catch these intense instances that are usually only seen once in a lifetime. Observing a mother grizzly bear and her cubs is a unique experience in itself, but watching a full-on battle between that same mother bear and a bald eagle is a gold mine. Especially in Alaska, photographers long to snap photos of bears and eagles. And this photographer not only captured both in one photo, but also recorded an epic fight between the two majestic animals.
Photographer and tour guide Jeff Shultz was in Katmai National Park in southwestern Alaska when he witnessed the fierce battle between the grizzly bear and bald eagle. He was on a boat following a grizzly sow and her three cubs as they nursed, swam, and walked along the rocky shore. The family of bears was eating some grass on a high cliff when the mother noticed a bald eagle nest just below. Two eagles were sitting on it, protecting their newly hatched eaglets that were inside. The mother grizzly wandered over to the eagles nest, and one of the parent eagles started to get agitated and stretched its wings. The other parent eagle had flown up and started diving at the bear which startled her even more.
The bear was most likely annoyed and soon attacked the nest. While her cubs watched her from close behind, she jumped into the eagle home and started ferociously eating the young eaglets. She seem unfazed by the eagles coming at her, attempting to protect their babies from a short, gruesome ending. After a mere couple of minutes, the mother and her cubs finished up and walked away from the nest. The eagles sat in their ravaged home for a few more hours, mourning their losses.
This remarkable footage supports the idea that bears would always win in a battle against eagles, but that's not always the case. There have also been instances of when eagles have successfully attacked bears with their razor-sharp claws. In April 2004, researchers were observing a brown bear and her three cubs in central Norway. While walking around, the smallest cub lagged behind and was snatched by a golden eagle that the researchers could only identify as a large bird of prey prior to the attack. It had moved so quickly that by the time the mother bear knew her baby was missing, the bird was out of reach.
So, between these two different circumstances, who do you think would win the battle between bears and eagles?
READ MORE: What to Do If You Encounter a Grizzly Bear
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