Bison Calf Yellowstone
YouTube: Kun Xu

Lone Yellowstone Wolf Makes Bold Attempt to Steal Bison Calf


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Every day is a life-or-death cycle in Yellowstone National Park. The predators are always looking for prey. Meanwhile, the prey animals like the bison often find their strength in numbers. The more of them around, the less likely they are to be targeted. It's an important survival strategy for protecting the young too. In the case of today's video, the bison may be a little too confident in their abilities. What appears to be a lone wolf casually strolls through a bison herd. Because the predator is alone, it gets few glances from the bison grazing nearby. However, the wolf has locked on to a young calf that is separated and laying down away from the rest of the group and its mother.

Seeing an opening, the wolf jumps into action to make a run at the calf. Fortunately, the young bison sees the wolf coming. The calf just barely dodges the wolf and makes a hasty retreat into the safety of the herd leaving the wolf to need to find a different meal today.

This one surprised us quite a bit. It's not uncommon for bison calves to be targeted. However, it's usually a group of wolves that tries to bring them down. This lone wolf, likely a younger male, must have been either over-confident or hungry to just casually stroll into a herd of buffalo like that. It was a huge risk to take. Had they wanted to, this herd could have easily surrounded and killed the wolf without much of a second thought about it.

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Close calls like this one are a part of growing up in Yellowstone for these younger animals. The calf survived to another day and will be wiser to wolves after this encounter, giving it a better chance to survive until adulthood. And the wolf will be left to try and find a meal that isn't quite so dangerous.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels

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