Grizzly attacking female black bear and cubs caught on camera
Logan Hunter was hunting with his dad Thursday in a remote area about 40 minutes south of Whitecourt when they spotted a bear in the distance.
“We looked at it with the binoculars and realized it was a grizzly bear,” Hunter told CTV News. “My dad was just super excited because he said it’s the second one he’s ever seen in his entire life.”
They drove closer, hoping they’d get a closer look, thinking it would run off as they approached. They didn’t know the grizzly was on the hunt.
“We didn’t realize what it was trying to dig for until we saw a black paw come up out and started fighting,” Hunter said.
The grizzly had found a den where a female black bear was trying to protect her three cubs. The entire scene captured on cell phone video.
“It’s hard to see in the video but one of the cubs tried to run for it,” Hunter said.
According to Dale Gienow, wildlife expert and director of WILDNorth, although one of the cubs was caught by the grizzly, this was the best case scenario for the black bears.
“So you know the mom is cognizant of the fact that she’s no match for the grizzly bear. Had she come out and tried to fight the grizzly bear, she probably would have been killed and those cubs would have not had a great chance of survival.”
Even male black bears will sometimes go after cubs. About 15 per cent of a black bears’ diet is made up of meat of other animals, while a grizzly will consume about 35 per cent. Gienow says there’s a reason grizzly bears go prey on moose and elk calves or black bear cubs.
“Much easier taking down those young ones than the adults, so this happens quite often."
“We’re looking at a pretty natural process. So this is something that occurs naturally in the wild that people aren’t often privy to," Gienow added.
Something Hunter feels lucky to have witnessed.
“You don’t run into them very often around here so it was incredible to be right there watching him.”
“To be right there and to catch it on video was kind of a crazy thing.”
Hunter posted the video online. As of Thursday, it had more than 1.6 million views.