On his way to work at the Denali Backcountry Lodge on Saturday, Tim Peters spotted a wolf dining on a caribou carcass on the Teklanika River. It was the first wolf the Anchorage, Alaska, resident has seen in the wild.
For Peters, the wildlife sighting got a whole lot better the next day when he passed the same spot around Mile 29 into Denali National Park, as reported by Alaska Dispatch News. This time he witnessed a wolf trying to sneak a bite of the caribou carcass as a bear slept next to it.
Peters shared the video of the encounter on the Denali Backcountry Adventure Facebook page:
“I still can’t believe we saw that,” Peters told ADN. “It was pretty unusual.”
But it was also typical behavior, as explained by park wildlife biologist Pat Owen.
“Very often, a wolf will make a kill and they’ll feed on it for a little bit, but it usually doesn’t take long before a bear comes in and takes over,” Owen told ADN.
The bear stuffs itself and then takes a nap. Owen told ADN that bears will often sleep next to the carcass or even on top of it.
That is exactly what happened in this case.
But in the end, what you don’t see is the wolf finally getting a piece of the caribou, as the filled-up bear gave little effort in chasing the wolf away, according to Peters.
“I’m pretty sure that bear was just really, really lazy,” Peters said.
Owen agreed that the bear was sluggish because “he’s full of caribou meat.”
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