Bear Chases Bison Down Highway

11/05/2010

This is definitely NOT something you see every day!  A grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park was caught on video chasing down a bison.  That's not necessarily an odd occurrence as grizzlies do sometimes prey on such large animals as bison.  The weird part is where this happened. 

Bear Chases Bison Apparently, the bison was trying to take advantage of the road to run unimpeded by brush and uneven terrain in the hopes of getting away from the bear.  Alex Wypyszinski happened to be driving down that exact road when he heard a commotion behind him. 

Thinking it was a horse and carriage or maybe a couple of moose, he was shocked when he turned around to see the bison with the bear in hot pursuit.  After recovering from his initial shock, he grabbed his video camera and recorded the odd occurrence.

Unfortunately for the bison, its road-running tactic didn't work, as the bear was also unimpeded by the vegetation and terrain.  So the bison smartly returned to the woods, where it was successfully able to evade its would-be predator.

Sadly, as you will see in the video below, the bison was badly burned, most likely from one of the numerous hot springs and geysers in Yellowstone.  It was that weakness that probably emboldened the bear to try to tackle such a formidable animal as a bison in the first place.  Even though the bison successfully escaped the bear, park rangers ultimately decided to put the animal down rather than let it suffer a slow death from its burns.

(As an aside, National Wildlife Federation works to protect both grizzly bears and bison.  You can symbolically adopt a grizzly bear or a bison to help support that work, or get involved in our Adopt-a-Wildlife-Acre program, which is supported by Animal Planet's ROAR initiative.  Animal Planet is matching individual donations dollar-for-dollar so if you care about these amazing animals, please consider participating.)

The upside to the story is that we have the following video capturing this rare wildlife behavior. 

 

Photo is a screen capture of Alex Wypyszinski's video.


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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