When it comes to the bears of North America, there is a clear hierarchy that is put on full display in this recent video from Glacier National Park.
The footage shows an interaction between a grizzly and a black bear. It’s apparent that the black bear is terrified of the much larger grizzly, but the smaller bear is able to scramble up a tree to safety. While black bears are prolific tree climbers, grizzly bears are unable to do so.
Direct interactions between the two species of bear is somewhat rare, and it is even more rare that it’s caught on camera. While black bears are common across much of the United States, grizzly bears in the lower 48 are confined to the most remote parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
The video was captured by park visitor Anthony James and shared on Glacier National Park’s official social media accounts.
“Check out this amazing video of grizzly and black bears interacting.
Normally agreeable when food is abundant, grizzly and black bears run into one another more often when food is scarce—like early summer.
While grizzly bears are larger and typically stronger than black bears, this black bear displays its powerful exit strategy: climbing!
The short, sharp claws of the black bear are ideal for tree climbing. The grizzly’s longer, duller claws are great for digging, but poor for climbing—especially because an adult grizzly is substantially heavier than a black bear.”