Brave Elk Calf Swims Across Rushing Yellowstone River To Reunite With Its Mother

Pretty impressive.

If you’ve never tried to swim against strong rapids on a river, then don’t. Absolutely horrible idea. Most rapids travel at a speed of one to two feet for second, and can easily sweep you away if you aren’t careful.

If you’re not a great swimmer, and even if you are, countless people have been pulled away by the strong current and drown in the raging waters.

However, for this one specific elk calf, it nearly made swimming across look easy.

Of course, Yellowstone is in the midst of historic flooding right now, and this is just a glimpse of what the wildlife is forced to endure in the days ahead.

This video coming to us from the Yellowstone National Park where bystanders notice an elk calf looking at its mother across a rushing river.

Once the calf realizes its only opportunity to reach her is to swim across, it finally makes the move and jumps in.

At first, you see the current begin to sweep the calf away, as it continues to fight it off in order to make it to its mother. Swimming diagonally towards the shore, the young calf inches closer and closer to its mother and it gets pulled further and further down river.

After a tree blocks out the view for a brief few seconds, you begin to wonder if the calf ever makes it. But sure enough, it displays its strong swimming skills, and makes it across to it’s mother… the two are reunited once again.

According to RMEF, all elk are excellent swimmers, and their hollow hair and rich fat helps them float, while also giving them great insulation, keeping them from getting hypothermia in the freezing waters

In fact, elk typically use rapids like this as an opportunity to escape predators, like wolves.

Check it out:

Young Elk Tries To Escape A Wolf And A Bear In Banff National Park

It’s hard out here for an elk…

Even in a National Park like Banff, where wildlife is so abundant, it’s not every day that you’re gonna witness an animal encounter like this.

On top of that, to catch it all on video… even crazier.

It might not be the best quality, and our dude is no Steven Spielberg, but amazing none the less.

It starts with a shaking video as you notice something on shore on the far side of the river. It ends up being a wolf chasing a calf elk into the river. It must have nipped it because the elk starts crying pretty hard as it gets into the water. Opting to stay dry, the wolf decides not to pursue, and he glances up at the onlookers before retreating back into the woods.

The young elk lives to fight another day…

Not so fast.

Just as you think the elk may have gotten away, here comes the grizzly charging into the water, making its way across the river. It ends up down stream a ways from the elk still fighting its way back to shore.

As the grizzly hits land, it shows you one of the many reasons they are such an incredible animal. In a matter of seconds it ends up right were the elk touched down on shore and chases it back into the water underneath a bridge.

The bikers who are filming are completely in shock and I can’t really blame them. Imagine your morning work out going along enjoying a bike ride in the mountains and you witness a sequence of events like this?

The elk comes out from under the bridge with the bear right on it tail.

“This is the most epic shit ever… This is planet earth.”

Not for the elk…

However, I see no lies here, it is pretty epic. This would be some type of stuff you see on Planet Earth.

As the elk swims down river it gets some distance on the grizzly. Smart move young one, smart move. The elk made it safely to shore, only to find the wolf waiting for him..


“At the end of the video the elk gains some distance but ends up on shore with wolf waiting on the train tracks and the grizzly bear eventually catching up.

Not sure exactly who wins but its definitely not the elk.”

Nature can be a cruel, cruel beast.

The Riff Outdoors Collection, only from Whiskey Riff Shop


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock