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Rare Video: Grizzly bear kills bull elk at Yellowstone Nat’l Park

A bull elk at Yellowstone National Park. (Needpix/Released)
September 23, 2020

Footage of a battle between a grizzly bear and a bull elk in the Yellowstone River in Hayden Valley, Wyo. went viral over the weekend.

The video was uploaded by a Facebook user who captured the whole incident on her camera. The video shows the bear chasing the elk into the river and as the grizzly rapidly gains on the elk, it turns and attempts to fight back its pursuer with its antlers.

The clash lasts only a moment before the grizzly is able to duck the elk’s antlers and begins biting and clawing at the elk’s back.

The incident was caught on video from another angle by videographer BE Judson.

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“At first light this morning I pulled over noting a Bull Elk with a few cows in the upper right of the meadow depicted in the opening photograph,” Judson said in the video description. “I was startled moments later by a Bull Elk running into the Yellowstone River pursued by a large Grizzly Bear. The Grizzly was successful in taking down the Bull Elk after only a few minutes, but it worked for around a half an hour to redirect it to the far side of the river and secure it on the east bank, about one- hundred yards downstream from the north end of Hayden Valley.”

In the video, the elk continued to struggle with the grizzly for a few minutes before it was evident that the bear had won.

The grizzly could be seen in the video, dragging its prey back to the shoreline in several compiled shots.

Judson uploaded a second video of photographs taken during the encounter between the elk and the grizzly as well as footage taken 24 hours after the initial battle. He speculated at a possible injury to the elk before the fight and suggested the bear had also suffered some apparent injuries during the clash.

“With so much interest in the possible injury to the Bull Elk prior to the attack by the bear, I added more footage,” Judson wrote in a description for the second video. “The first photograph shows the wound behind the front leg and the broken back left leg onlookers ascribe to a fight with another Bull Elk. The grizzly photos show roughed up fur on it’s left side I thought may be from the Bull thrusting at the bear, and the front head shot looks like a spot a hoof may have struck,; It’s just above the bears left eye.”

Another video shows the aftermath of the incident with the grizzly on the bank, guarding his meal.