Wolves generally don’t attack marine mammals like seals and otters, but just like how the rest of life is going right now, the abnormal is the new normal. It was generally believed that wolves that called the coast home did consume a fair amount of marine species, though it was usually just through scavenging.
A recent study out of Oregon State University (in partnership with the National Park Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game) is proving that belief to be untrue.
Researchers took to Katmai National Park in Alaska to observe wolf behavior, and over a period of five years (from 2016 t0 2021), they gathered a substantial amount of video evidence proving that wolves do, in fact, hunt seals and otters, among other coastal creatures.
The video linked below is one of the very first pieces of visual evidence that the wolves in Katmai National Park were actively pursuing and hunting harbor seals.
According to the researchers, the hunt first started near a creek’s outlet into a bay of the park, and though the seal should have had the upper hand (or flipper?) in the water, the wolf’s attack was quickly exhausting the seal.
As the wolf thrashed around the seal’s tail in the water, the seal did its best to defend itself, but was ultimately no match for the predator. “Home field advantage” didn’t mean a thing in this battle.
Though the video below only spans half a minute, and mainly features the seal spinning around in shallow water in defense, those witnessing the wolf taking down the seal say that it ate on the marine animal for almost an hour after taking it down.