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Photographer Captures A Once In A Lifetime Moment Of A Grizzly And Wolf Encounter
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Animals, Nature1 year ago

Photographer Captures A Once In A Lifetime Moment Of A Grizzly And Wolf Encounter

Yellowstone National Park has always offered spectacular sights, but a recent one captured our attention in an exceptional way.

A grizzly bear was enjoying a week-long picnic after drowning a huge bull elk and pulling it onto the Yellowstone riverbank.

Since the area is well visible from its surrounding, it had become a feast for photographers.

More info: sethroyalkroft.com | Facebook | Instagram

However, of all the stunning shots of the bear and elk, a series by Montana traveler and photographer Seth Royal Kroft stands out in particular.

After hearing about the grizzly that took down a large bull elk, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see it through his own lenses.  With an alarm set for 2 am, he was on the road half an hour later, arriving at the location by 6 am. Seth said it was still dark, so with a hot cup of noodles in hand, he got his trusty Sony camera and started waiting for daybreak. Soon, he could make out the “dark ball” laying across the river about 150 yards away. As the sun began to rise and the mist slowly subsided, Seth began shooting.

But as if this wasn’t enough of a view, nature decided to delight him with another subject. A grey wolf walked out of the woods, probably after picking up on the scent of the large decaying animal, and Seth captured some of the greatest photos of his life.

Image credits: Seth Royal Kroft

Seth Royal Kroft grew up in Montana and loved spending time in the mountains. Wildlife was just part of his everyday experience. So his photography journey started out very naturally, with a camera body and one medium-range lens. “I just took pictures of whatever animal I encountered,” he told Bored Panda. “Looking back, my early wildlife photos were atrocious, but that’s how you learn and grow. It was only recently that I actually purchased a ‘wildlife’ lens.”

Image credits: Seth Royal Kroft

This was his first close encounter with a wolf. “It was very exciting. I have encountered black bears while camping a number of times over the years, but they are relatively harmless in most situations. I’ve only come across grizzly bears a few times and only in Yellowstone park. All that to say I will still generally carry bear spray on my person when hiking in potential bear country.”

Image credits: Seth Royal Kroft

The grey wolf appeared on scene 20 minutes before official sunrise so it was still a little dark and Seth had to cut through the low-lying river fog to see him. All in all, the wolf would leave and then come back a few times over the course of the next few hours.

Image credits: Seth Royal Kroft

Seth said the grizzly couldn’t have cared less about the intruder. “As large as it was, the grizzly knew a single wolf wasn’t any kind of threat. The wolf seemed to have a mischievous, playful demeanor. As if it was a game. It would slowly get as close as it could to the elk carcass, achieving a distance of mere inches from it before the bear would stir slightly and sent the wolf quickly retreating.”

The photographer counted four occasions the wolf tried to approach the bear but after virtually no results, it disappeared back into the woods.

Image credits: Seth Royal Kroft

With the reintroduction of gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park, much interest has been shown regarding the effects of a restored wolf population on both grizzly bears and black bears. But grizzly bears, black bears, and gray wolves have historically coexisted in much of the same range throughout a large portion of North America.

Image credits: Seth Royal Kroft

Just like this time, most interactions between the three species involve food sources and are usually characterized by mutual avoidance. However, the behavior of the animals during interactions with each other can vary depending on their age, sex and reproductive status, prey availability, hunger and aggressiveness, numbers of animals, and previous experience in interacting with the other species. But most of the time, they’re pretty chill.

Image credits: Seth Royal Kroft

Here’s what people have been saying about Seth’s amazing photos

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Hey pandas, what do you think?
Ksenia M
Community Member
1 year ago

The fog, the giant black bear, the antlers of the dead elk, the dark fallen tree, the wolf, those black ravens (?), it all looks like a modern day gritty fairy tale movie. So cool.

Nizumi
Community Member
1 year ago

That bear is just a bit of a jerk. "I'm full right now, so I'm gonna let you get within half a meter of my kill; let you think you're gonna to get a bite; and *then* I'm gonna to stand up."

Kristin Ingersoll
Community Member
1 year ago

The photographer ran into some "relatively harmless" blackberries? I didn't know blackberries could be dangerous. I'll never look at them the same! LOL!!!

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Ksenia M
Community Member
1 year ago

The fog, the giant black bear, the antlers of the dead elk, the dark fallen tree, the wolf, those black ravens (?), it all looks like a modern day gritty fairy tale movie. So cool.

Nizumi
Community Member
1 year ago

That bear is just a bit of a jerk. "I'm full right now, so I'm gonna let you get within half a meter of my kill; let you think you're gonna to get a bite; and *then* I'm gonna to stand up."

Kristin Ingersoll
Community Member
1 year ago

The photographer ran into some "relatively harmless" blackberries? I didn't know blackberries could be dangerous. I'll never look at them the same! LOL!!!

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