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What Do Bears And Wolves In Yellowstone National Park Do When No One's Watching?


What do bears and wolves do in the woods of Yellowstone National Park when they don't think anyone is around? As these photos show, they're not going after each other tooth and claw. Photos by Nancy Ward, NPS.

How do grizzly bears and wolves in Yellowstone National Park carry on when they don't think anyone is watching? Well, as these pictures show, they're not going after each other tooth and claw.

Nancy Ward, the park's acting chief of maintenance, was heading to Lake for a meeting back on May 4, before the park's interior roads were open for the public, when she spied a wolf and another animal in a snow-covered drainage.

As she continued on, she thought the other animal might be a bison struggling in the snow. With some time to spare, she turned around and headed back to where she had seen the animals. This is what she discovered:

There was a spot cleared right across the river from these two. Once I stopped I was able to look closely and saw the wolf was "playing" with a grizzly bear. I thought they might be attracted to a carcass, but there was no food around. The bear rolled on its back with its feet in the air. It also slid around the snow. The wolf stayed close, checking things out. The bear approached the wolf and they appeared to sniff around each other and on the ground. I had my camera so I took several pictures. They interacted for more than five minutes and then they both walked up the small drainage and out of sight. I don't know if that's a common type of encounter, but I doubt I will ever see it again!


They have more sense than our politicians!


Ms. Ward, however, is just reaping the rewards of being one privileged to actually live and work in Yellowstone.

Yes, I believe you are correct, Pam:).   Going afield here but WE do elect them (politicians):).   The Griz and Wolf probably did not get consensus or take a vote before they decided to act "civilly," lol!  Animals are so smart...

Why not? I've seen grackles play with squirrels, and deer play with rabbits (no, I'm not confusing what I've seen with Bambi). People like to play with dogs, cats, horses, etc. Why not two other intelligent species play?

This is an amazing story, one you rarely if ever see in the wildlife documentaries. Thanks for sharing.

This is the real mother nature.  We need to learn from every animal in nature.  Good story to share with. Thanks.

From the size, this looks like a young grizzly.  That might explain them being more apt to play. Interesting, either way...

There are hundreds of positions in Yellowstone and keeping them filled can be a challenge! If you're willing to work a seasonal position and not make much (monetarily), the other benefits are phenomenal. It's an experience of a lifetime!

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