Momma elk comes to rescue of its crying baby confronted by bear; video

A couple driving on a Forest Service road near Flagstaff, Arizona, stumbled upon a scene rarely witnessed in the wild, let alone captured on video.

A bear was apparently attempting to attack a baby elk that was huddled under a fallen tree, though Shannon Seville and her boyfriend, Joel Floyd, didn't realize it at first.

"I saw the bear out of my peripherals as we drove past and got excited, so we reversed to take a picture," Seville told The Arizona Republic. "I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime capture and that other outdoor enthusiasts would really appreciate the share."

Only when the baby elk began crying did the couple realize it was there, under the fallen tree. Momma elk then pranced into the picture, scaring the bear up a tree.

As the baby elk cried out, the momma elk and bear had a bit of a standoff until the bear went after the baby elk. Momma elk responded by kicking the bear with its front leg. The bear climbed the tree, enabling the baby elk to escape.

Momma elk and her baby walked off, but the bear eventually followed.

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"We wish we knew [what happened next]," Seville told The Republic "The animals left our line of vision and we weren't about to get out of the vehicle to follow.

"I imagine nature took its course, however it was meant to. The calf didn't appear injured, and the mother stayed near…

“We see elk every day, and a bear sighting is few and far between; to encounter them together was an amazing rarity.”