The circle of life may seem cruel... but it's necessary to survive.
Erik Stone captured a dramatic chain of events when he filmed two treed bear cubs, as well as a fawn, from his backyard in Woodland Park, Colorado. The cell phone footage begins with the mule deer fawn walking casually amongst the long grasses, while two black bear cubs sit directly overhead in trees some forty feet up. But when mama bear shows up at the 50-second mark, the tranquil scene turns into a chaotic one.
What you're about to witness is nature in its most raw sense. This is what happens in the wild on a daily basis. And although it's not necessarily easy to listen to this fawn cry out in fear, it is good to know that two bear cubs didn't go hungry this day - and both learned a valuable lesson in terms of how to hunt.
A quick warning that the video may be hard to watch for some.
Here's commentary on what happened that day, in Stone's own words:
"I've lived here in the mountains for 15 years and grew up in Wyoming. Lifelong hunter and outdoorsman. Our family watched those fawns being born about 6 weeks ago. Their mom would stash them in the tall grass down in the bottom. Normally, that fawn would have just stayed snuggled down in the grass, but for some reason, it ventured out, not knowing the bears were there. My dear wife (and our whole family) loved those fawns, not like pets, but we'd go out every morning and evening and watch them nurse and play. A few weeks ago they started jumping those fences, going in and out as they pleased, so we shut the gates to our yard, knowing they could get out. Our area is overpopulated with mule deer and it's drawing more predators into town (mtn. lions & bears). About 30 minutes before this video, I had walked down into the yard and bumped into those cubs and the sow. Scared the crap out of me, as I was maybe 50 feet from the sow when cubs treed. Mama Bear was highly agitated, huffing and popping her jaws at me as I slowly worked my way up back to safety. I was lucky that was all. After that, we watched the cubs in the tree from the safety of our 12-foot high deck. There is one gate attached to our house, in the opposite corner from where the bear was that my wife wanted to open to give the fawn a chance as it had panicked and forgot how to jump those fences. I didn't want her on the ground level and I called her back up, not knowing she had gone out and around. The bear would have never had a shot at the fawn were it not for the fences. Stuff happens. Mama Bear taught her cubs about deer fawns and gave them a taste of venison - much better than teaching them to break into cabins. This sow killed two out of three before she left. The second fawn she killed in my neighbor's yard."
You never know what you'll capture when you turn on the camera while watching wildlife. For the Stone family, it was the circle of life in its truest sense. Raw and extremely powerful.
Did you enjoy this post? CLICK HERE to view more articles by Justin Hoffman. You can also check out his Photography Site Justin Hoffman Outdoors, as well as follow him on Facebook Justin Hoffman Outdoors, Instagram hoffmanoutdoors, Twitter @HoffmanOutdoors, or subscribe to his YouTube channel Justin Hoffman.
Enjoy the outdoors?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.