You don’t have to outrun the wolves, you just have to outrun the slowest elk.
That’s what this herd of elk was thinking when their grazing session in Yellowstone National Park was cut short when a pack of wolves moved in on the area.
Michael Sypniewski, an outdoor photographer/videographer/tour guide who works for a company called Wolf Tracker, posted this stunning video to his Instagram account on October 5th.
The footage first focuses in on the massive herd of 300 plus elk, who all of the sudden start sprinting in the same direction. The video zooms out to show that a pack of 20 or so wolves have started running down an incline towards the elk, and at that point it’s a race for survival.
All of the animals in the clip are showing off their top speeds, but a couple of younger elk start lagging behind, and the wolves start to hone in on one that they feel is the weakest.
One of the wolves separates an elk from the herd, and causes it to run in a circle to try and escape. That wasted time allows for the rest of the wolves to catch up, and once they do, it’s game over for the young cow elk.
It doesn’t take an outdoors expert to tell you that the way the younger elk meets its maker is not the way to go. Actually, getting ripped apart by a pack of wolves has to be the worst way to go.
Sypniewski provided some commentary on the video when he posted it to Instagram, saying:
“One of the most thrilling mornings I’ve ever had in Yellowstone. Sitting alone atop a rocky ridge, I watched a scene unfold that I am not sure I will ever see again.
A pack of 20 or more wolves in pursuit of a herd of 300+ elk. This chase, unlike many for wolves, ended in success as they were able to bring down a young cow elk.”