Wolves vs Muskox
YouTube: BBC Earth

Arctic Wolves Try to Divide and Conquer a Herd of Muskox

These wolves bit off a bit more than they could chew.  

Wolves are apex predators and are feared by many species of animal in almost every corner of the globe the large canines call home. In the far North wilds of Canada, a gray wolf subspecies, the arctic wolf or snow wolf reigns supreme as top predator.

Arctic wolves are the species we know the least about due to the remote locations it calls home. We do know these predators feed primarily on caribou, lemmings, hares, and the mighty muskoxen. The muskox has an extremely thick coat of long, shaggy fur that makes them look like giant walking mops in the Arctic climates where it is native.

This species of grazing animals is extremely old, a prehistoric throwback. While they are not invincible to wolf attack, there is something to be said for strength in numbers. Especially in the case of this encounter where a herd of muskoxen find themselves the target of hungry wolves with a BBC cameraman caught in the middle between predator and prey.

This type of scene likely plays out every day in the most remote corners of the Arctic Circle. We humans rarely get the chance to see it. Simply because so few humans make the journey up to this remote part of the globe. Once the muskox herd got the high ground on the wolves, this hunt was all over, despite a last-ditch attempt by the lead wolf to cut them off.

There were a few too many muskoxen there and they stayed closely bunched together, refusing to let one get separated from the herd. It seems that larger bull that ran the wolves off has seen a few wolf attacks in the past and knew what they were doing.

In the end it appears the wolves knew better than to press their luck against a smart herd. Despite the desolate landscape, there are plenty of food options in the far north. It was not worth getting injured by an angry bull to pursue the herd any further. Such is life in the many diverse ecosystems on our amazing planet!

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