Even an injured wolf is too much for a coyote pack.
Yellowstone National Park has some of the most vicious cycles of life and death to be found here in North America. One wrong move by either predator or prey, and they are not going to live to see the next sunrise. Even an apex predator like the gray wolf is subject to the harsh realities of nature.
In this footage out of Yellowstone, a lone gray wolf appears to have a broken front leg. The animal is hobbling along slowly with its tail tucked between its legs. Something is obviously very wrong.
The wolf catches the scent of a dead bison nearby. Needing to feed, the wolf decides to check it out. There is just one problem. There is a pack of healthy coyotes already feasting upon the remains. The wolf weighs his options and decides it is worth the dangers of the pack to try and get a meal.
This video really helps demonstrate the size differences between coyotes and wolves. And it turns out that even an injured wolf is incredibly intimidating to other animals. In the end, those coyotes relented and let the wolf have a few bites. The will to live in some animals is simply incredible. This was a heck of a gamble just to get a small meal.
However, do not underestimate the coyotes as being stupid when they had the numbers advantage here. Lone wolves are not all that common, and it is very likely the coyotes feared the rest of the pack may not be far behind. Also, taking down a wolf, even an injured one, comes with a lot of risk to the animals. Sometimes it is better to just back off and live to fight another day.
Either way, this was some amazing footage of a rarely seen encounter between two very similar, yet different species. This is a good reminder of why we love Yellowstone. You just never know what you are going to see once you drive past the park's gates.
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