When you attend Yellowstone National Park, you’re all but guaranteed to see a number of breathtaking views, and witness some of the incredible wildlife roaming throughout the park.
However, when you see the wildlife, keep in mind that it may not always be pleasant, as these Yellowstone tourists ran into a heartbreaking example of “survival of the fittest” this past Sunday.
According to For The Win, a group of Yellowstone visitors witnessed a young male grizzly bear get viciously attacked by an adult male bear, that was courting his mother.
Not only did the adult male’s attack result in taking the young bear’s life, but the mother attacked him as well, only moments before.
It is believed that the mother, who is well-known as Bear 815 or Obsidian Sow, attacked to try and convince her young, subadult bear to flee before the boar arrived to attack.
The boar, weighing more than 500 pounds, left the three-year-old 148 pound young grizzly with such severe injuries, that the youngster ultimately had to be put down by park staff, as it was clear that he was not going to survive.
Although tourists were in close enough range to witness the attack, it is not believed that their presence was a reason for the attack. It’s not uncommon for adult male grizzlies attempting to court a female to attack young bears or cubs that are nearby, especially other males.
Trent Sizemore, a veteran wildlife photographer from West Yellowstone, Montana, told the outlet:
“The subadult is confirmed to be a male, which is not going to be tolerated by another male in the territory. No humans pushed any of these bears to cause this specific incident.”
Another wildlife photographer on site, Paul Allen, managed to capture various photos of the vicious attack.
But please be warned, they’re not for the faint of heart.
Paul also shared a detailed, and poetic, description of what he witnessed Sunday morning at the park:
“Today, Janet and watched a beautiful sub-adult grizzly picking his way through the grass, digging for grubs or squirrels, just as he had been observed for the past few weeks. His coat shimmered, his gate was easy, and we watched until we’d had our fill.
Just as we turned for the car, two enormous adult grizzlies, a giant male in pursuit of a female who would soon be in estrus, came charging into the scene. I turned my camera toward them, first the big sow, then the huge boar.
For a moment, we stood in awe as three great bears were within our field of vision, and then… she charged the young bear, who for all appearances wasn’t paying attention to the intruders. The huge male followed, brushing her off the young male and sending her tumbling, with a mind set on a single objective: to kill him.
We watched as that was carried out. The very engine that drives evolution, growth, and the preponderance of life on this planet is the two cycle stroke of birth and death. Every life now depends entirely on the death of all that went before. It is as natural as the light of morning chasing away the dark of night.
We were once much more aware of the death that sustains our own lives, but have long since pushed death to the shadows. But what we watched today was not immoral. In a way, I feel reverence for the great bears, because they reminded me of the enormity of their power, that the bears of Yellowstone are no mere circus acts, or captives of roadside menageries.
They are wild, terrible, beautiful, amazing creatures among whom I will tread all the more carefully, for what I witnessed today was, in a word, awesome.”
A humbling reminder that nature is indeed, savage.