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Grey Wolves: Impressive feats
Grey Wolves: Impressive feats

From: wolves, canis lupus, killing denning black bears, ursus americanus, in the riding mountain national park area.

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Intelligence, endurance, and power; I love Canis lupus. A very successful species. Thanks Atrox.
A pine needle fell. The eagle saw it. The deer heard it. The bear smelled it
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"Wild gray wolf (Canis lupus) trying to take down a bison cow. Yellowstone, fall. Eventually, after two days of constantly pestering this bison cow (she seemed to be injured) this wolf was able to kill it in the late evening of the second day."
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Wolves slaughter 19 elk in Wyoming

Updated 2:21 PM EDT, Sun March 27, 2016

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Story highlights

19 dead elk found near Jackson, Wyoming, state wildlife official says

  • A pack of nine wolves slaughtered the herd in night, official says

(CNN)A pack of wolves slaughtered a herd of elk in one night, Wyoming wildlife officials said Friday.

Nineteen elk, mostly calves, were found dead several days ago at a feeding ground near Bondurant, a town southeast of Jackson, said John Lund of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. A contractor delivering feed to the herd discovered the dead animals.
Lund said wildlife officials are concerned because wolves usually eat what they kill or come back later to feed.

The pack suspected of killing the elks has nine wolves, he added.

There are about 1,100 elk in the area, he said, and about 7% of the population has been lost to wolves this winter.

"There is a significant concern among wildlife managers," he said, noting that there are no reports of wolves attacking humans. "Our concern is big game."

But there's nothing the state agency can do, he said. Wolves are federally protected and managed.

In 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service planned to take wolves off the endangered list and turn over management of the animals to Wyoming, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website. That would have allowed state-regulated hunting of wolves.

But a federal judge ruled in 2014 that wolves remain under federal control and be relisted as an endangered species.

The federal agency could kill wolves that are attacking livestock but not wildlife, said Mike Jiminez, the wildlife service's Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf coordinator, according to the Casper Star Tribune.

Wolves, once nearly extinct, were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website. The number of wolves grew and spread across the region.
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A member called kazanshin showed me this:

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I'm still very skeptical of that. It's only a brief mention with no details at all and I would like to see more info on that particular case.
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I agree that details would significantly help to see the circumstances on how a grey wolf managed to kill a 3/4 year old female cougar but I do believe that it shouldn't be easily taken with a grain of salt.

Unless the source is unreliable.
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Anyways, here are some impressive feats.

Taipan Wrote:Swedish Wolves (Vargs)

The fabled lone moose killers.

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Moose hunting - 

Wolf winter predation on moose and roe deer in relation to pack size
Camilla Wikenros 2001

Abstract: Wolf (Canis lupus) winter predation on moose (Alces alces) and roe deer(Capreolus capreolus) were studied in the small, but fast growing wolf population on the Scandinavian Peninsula. Wolves in one territory were radio- and snow-tracked during two successive winters. The wolf pack consisted of an adult pair during the first winter (1999–2000), and of an adult male and three pups the following winter. Kill rate on moose was 7.4–9.2 days/kill for the adult pair and 4.0–4.8 days/kill for the pack of four wolves. The consumed proportion of wolf-killed moose at first feeding occasion was relatively low during both winters (44% and 51%) but wolves utilized carcasses by revisits at previous kill sites. Wolves did not select to kill malnourished moose as nutritional condition of wolf-killed moose was comparable to moose harvested by hunters. Handling time at first feeding occasion did not differ with increased pack size, but were longer for the pups as compared to the adult male. The adult male and pups were solitary in 61–68% of all locations during the second year of study while the adult pair was solitary in 13% during the first year of study. Hunting success of the adult male on moose (60%) and roe deer (100%) during the second year of study was higher as compared to the first year (21% and 55%). Chasing distances during successful attacks by wolves on roe deer were longer thanon moose."

Other interesting findings - 

"Of the 21 wolf-killed moose, 4 were killed by the adult male alone, and 14 by the adult male in company with one or two pups. For the remaining three moose, the numbers of wolves involved in the killings were unknown."

"Hunting success in the Grangärde territory in winter of 2000–2001 was 60% on moose and 100% on roe deer. This was higher than reported from Alaska (26% on moose, Mech et al. 1998) and Canada (46% on white-tailed deer, Kolenosky 1972). The higher hunting success rate in the Grangärde territory could result from prey being more inexperienced to predators (Berger et al. 2001) but more data need to be gathered from other wolf packs."

"During both winters, wolves killed more calves than adults, and all adults were ! 7 years old. That wolves prey primarily on young-of-the-year and animals in older age-classes, are in accordance with other studies where moose are the primary prey (Pimlott 1967, Hayes et al. 1991, Mech et al. 1995, Olsson et al. 1997, Mech et al. 1998, Hayes et al. 2000). Fuller and Keith (1980) explained this by the fact that young and old moose most likely are easier to kill than animals in their prime age. Moreover, all wolf-killed adult moose during the study were females. A female biased predation on adult moose is in accordance with Olsson et al. (1997) who reported that wolves killed no males older than two years old, during a study in south-central Sweden. Adult female moose is probably easier to kill for wolves than adult male moose due to their smaller size."

Reddhole Wrote:Of course, I do.  [Image: smile.png]

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Reddhole Wrote:Below is an account of a single wolf killing a yearling bull moose from Dr. David Mech's book "Wolves of Denali", which was about his study of wolves there. While it is true this was a small yearling bull moose (estimated weight of 350-400 lbs.) in poor nutritional condition (33% marrow fat), I find this account to be impressive for the following reasons:

1) The wolf itself was injured prior to and during the attack (often running on only 3 legs):

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2) The attack occurred during summer where the moose is not impeded by snow.

3) Most of the attack occurred in an environment favoring the moose - the moose's longer legs give it better maneuverability in the river.

4) Despite the Moose's poor nutritional condition, it fought back "vigorously" for the first day.

Photo of the Attack

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Description of the Attack

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Reddhole Wrote:The following photo and accompanying caption is from Candace Savage's book "Wolves."

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Reddhole Wrote:Below is an account of a single male wolf killing an adult cow elk in Yellowstone National Park.

We go to Lamar only, for wolves of course and were we rewarded this weekend.. Not only did we see wolves decimating coyote dens (then watched as the coyotes carried the remaining pups to a new den), swimming across ponds, being chased by coyotes and testing elk, we saw a single wolf take down a cow elk...from start to finish!!!

Three wolves are chasing a cow across the street from Fisherman's/Coyote...the elk heads for the road, crosses, only one wolf is brave enough to follow..the black that was once the Slough Alpha male..he gets her by the leg on the other side of the road....she struggles, he gets her neck...she manages to get away but he is hot on her heels, literally. He gets her down again, on a rock not 200 feet from the road, this time she stays down. He has her by the neck and it's not long before she is unconcious..but still alive as he begins to nibble.

He does not like his exposed position so he pulls her down off the rock...THOSE WITH WEAK STOMACHS STOP READING...I'll give you a sec..

ok, we watched as he removed the calf fetus from her and carried it accross the street to his waiting cohorts.

The photogs got some National Geo shots on Monday, I'll tell you what.

I will update this with photos as soon as possible..but there's gotta be someone else out there who saw this too?????
It was such an emotionally charged scene, I found myself excited by the chase but saddened for the cow and her calf. Nature, it's AMAZING!

She tries to run

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The death grip around the throat

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The end..although at this point the cow is still alive.

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After this he takes her down off the rock...I do not have any shots of the fetus, but I'm sure the professionals out there do.

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A older account of a yearling male wolf killing an adult cow elk. Cow elk was killed per US National Park Service website.

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Bone tales

Paleopathologist examines Yellowstone wolf skeletons for clues to their lives

By BRETT FRENCH Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette  

Despite loose and missing teeth, disease and an injury from being kicked by an elk, at 7 years old, wolf #8M was still hunting elk in Yellowstone National Park as the alpha male of the Rose Creek pack.

The animal's determination and grit impressed Sue Ware, a paleopathologist who works for the Denver Museum and has been studying bones of the park's wolves, including #8M, since 2008.

"I don't understand how an animal could live through this," she said.

After his death, Ware's examination of #8M's skeleton showed his muzzle to be riddled with holes from a bone infection, his canine teeth loose and blunted. The infection probably led to his death, since it can cause heart disease, organ damage and severe pain.

Yet a week before he died, wolf watchers had shot a video of the male hanging on to an elk during a hunt -- loose, dull teeth and all.

"He was never challenged for his position in the pack, and he was doing everything you would expect him to do in the pack," she said.

History of injuries

Ware's analysis of about 160 wolf skeletons over the past three years has revealed more details on just how tough it is in the wild canid's world. Her examination of their bones have revealed injuries from attack by other wolves, a cougar bite to one wolf's skull, assorted broken ribs and legs from kicks by elk and bison, as well as broken foot bones.

"One of the things that is most detrimental is re-injury," Ware said. "I see a lot of re-injured bones."

The re-injuries occur because, unlike an injured human athlete, the wolves can't sit out of the wild games until they are healed. They have to soldier on.

Making measurements

To make her examinations, Ware has to first have the carcasses cleaned of all tissue. Then she examines each of the wolves' 320 bones (321 for males). To determine what animal may have caused a bite injury -- another wolf, bear or cougar -- she measures the incision and compares it to the tooth size and shape of the other predators.

It's a painstaking task, one that she's used to study wolves from the upper Midwest, Canada and Alaska, as well as the fossilized remains of dire wolves -- a large-headed relative of the gray wolf that went extinct in North America about 9,500 years ago.

Healthier packs

Compared to wolf bones she has examined from other areas, Ware said the Yellowstone animals tend to be healthier. Yet those with injuries, some of them quite severe, demonstrate how tough the animals can be and provide the most interesting tales.

Take wolf #21M, an alpha male for the Druid Pack. He lived to be 9 years old, despite an injury to the top of his skull and cracked and worn teeth. Wolf #483F of the Leopold and Geode Creek packs suffered two different attacks that scarred the top of her skull -- one likely from another wolf, and another probably from a female cougar. Although she survived those attacks for awhile, she later died from a brain infection likely caused from the injuries.

"One good thing about the research that I'm doing is that it provides another lens for looking at these wolves," Ware said. "It gives other researchers a little more information on each and every one of these guys. It's a pretty interesting story all around."

Red Dog Wrote:1 or 2 wolves kills yearling grizzly bear:

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@ Atrox..

Yeah, that clip of Kazanshin's posted back on post #5.. does present as kinda amateur/anecdotal..
viz: referring to cougar simply as "lions", making glib assumptions.. "bumped easily from kills",
& failing to delineate between wolf packs & single wolf interactions..
From redhole:
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"Canyon Pack member head to head with an ailing bison that he later killed (2010)."
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The Killing of a Bull Muskox by a Single Wolf

Although there are many reports in the
literature describing successful attacks of the
wolf (Canis lupus) on muskoxen (Ovibos
moschatus), the following observation of a
single, male wolf attacking and killing a
lone bull muskox is, to my knowledge, unique
[see Hone1 and Tenera for a review% The
killing was observed from a distance of ap-
proximately 1 mile, using a 15 x 60 spotting
scope, during a study of the behaviour of
muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus wardi) on Bathurst Island, Northwest Territories.

On 28 May 1968, a lone bull muskox
could be seen feeding on a river-bank in the
broad valley 5 miles west of Goodsir Inlet,
about 1 mile from a herd of 11 muskoxen.
At 2020 hours, I saw a wolf galloping
towards the bull from about 100 yards away.
The wolf ran swiftly along the snow, fol-
lowing the slight depression of the snow- filled river bed in his approach. 

He ran close up behind and to the right of the bull, stopped suddenly, as yet unnoticed, hesitated, then
darted aside as the muskox wheeled around
and charged. There followed a series of
charges with the wolf nimbly advancing and
retreating, circling around as the muskox
attempted to make contact. After several
such charges the muskox seemed to collapse
into a sitting position with lowered hind-
quarters. This posture lasted only a few
seconds and the bull rose again; meanwhile
the wolf remained standing, motionless, in
front of the bull. 

The bull continued charging, wheeling around and running at the wolf, forcing him to run out ahead to
avoid the horns.

By 2030 hours there were brief periods when both animals stopped and stood facing  
each other for several seconds. At times the
muskox seemed to be slowing down and
would back away from the wolf rather than
charge towards him. 

Suddenly the wolf grabbed hold of the bull's face for a few seconds, but was shaken off. The sue of the arena became smaller as the wolf circled  
constantly, the muskox wheeling around to
follow him. 

Again both stood, facing each other, resting this time for 50 seconds. At  2047 the wolf again closed his jaws on the face of the muskox, this time hanging on for  
15 seconds. Then more nimble circling and
dodging and the wolf seized a hold again
but only for an instant, and when the animals separated a great patch of blood appeared on the head of the wolf. At 2100 hours again the wolf moved in close, keeping
low and avoiding the horns by coming
straight in, this time grabbing a secure hold
on the right eye orbit of the bull.

 The muskox charged forward and backed off swinging
his great head vigorously side to side, only
after some time dislodging the powerful grip
of the wolf. At this separation the blood
could be seen spreading over the right boss
and entire face of the muskox, and over the
face of the wolf as well.

The wolf faced the muskox constantly,
bounding in with lowered forelegs, keeping
the head low and close to the face and nose of the bull. 

Since the wolf kept right in front
of the bull, each charge ended with a sharp
upward toss of the bull's head, rather than
the more dangerous sideways hooking of
the horns. Each time the muskox charged
forward, the wolf backed up, then instantly
followed in again, moving so closely with
the bull that they gave the impression of
being tied nose to nose.

Several times the wolf stopped and stood
looking back over his shoulder or briefly
sniffing at he snow before renewing his
constant circling attack.

At 2110 hours, as the wolf moved around
past the muskox to the left, he suddenly
swung around and moved in to the bull's
left side, behind and below the horn, and
pulled the bull down. The wolf circled around
and moved in again with his head at the left
side of the throat and his right forepaw up
on the bull's shoulder. The muskox tried to
lift himself up, got up onto his foreknees
then collapsed. A second time the bull rose
onto his forelimbs and again fell while the
wolf stood motionless beside him. On the
third attempt the muskox rose onto his fore-
knees and wheeled his forequarters around
to face the wolf, tossing his head and horns
at the blood-spattered wolf. The wolf moved
again, circling around, and the bull, still sup-
ported by the front legs, swung his head at
the passing wolf, then fell, at this point still
holding his body upright.

At 21 13 hours, the bull's head remained
partially lifted although he now lay over on
his side; then as the wolf circled around
again, the bloody head lifted towards him
then flopped over onto the snow. The wolf began tugging at the hair and wool on the dorsal side of the muskox,
pulling out mouthfuls of wool and dropping
them several feet away, using his paws to
free his jaws of the clinging wool.

By 21 15 hours he finished pulling out the
wool and began feeding on a section of
the back muscle over the ribs and next to the
vertebrae. At 2120 he moved around to the
left side and lay down on the snow, facing
the carcass. Then he moved in to the throat,
crouching down with his head in close and
began feeding, probably on the tongue and
area of the throat at this time. Then standing
back in the direction from which he had
again, chewing, he gazed for several minutes

At 2140 hours the wolf walked away from
the carcass, stopped to urinate on a hum-
mock some 100 yards away, and then trotted
&..&?wn the valley to the west.
Examination of the battleground showed
an area of trampled snow (only 2 to 3 inches
deep) extending out for approximately 30
feet all around the carcass. The face of the
muskox was covered with blood, the hair
torn out in the area between the eyes and
the right eye was torn out. The tongue and
hyoid area of the throat was also torn out
and eaten. These two areas plus the small
5-inch-square section eaten at the back were
the only parts of the animal damaged. The
nose and the legs were untouched.

The carcass was moved to our camp, 4
miles away and the wolf returned to feed on
the carcass each day for the next 4 days and
at least three other times during that sum-
mer (see frontispiece).
During the summer of 1969, the same
wolf (identified by comparing photographs
taken each year) accompanied by a female,
visited the carcass and fed on it briefly 6
times from June to August. Additional tracks
indicated that he wolves visited the area
several other times as well.

The age of the muskox as shown by horn
development and tooth wear is estimated to
be 5 to 6 years. On cleaning the skull it was observed that the right eye orbit had been
broken by the wolf during the attack and
tooth puncture marks were present at the
orbit's edge.

The muskox study was supported in 1968
by the National Museum of Natural Sciences,
Ottawa, and in 1969 by the Canadian Wild-
life Service and the University of Alberta.
Logistic support during both summers was
provided by the Polar Continental Shelf
Project (Department of Energy, Mines and
Resources) and the National Museum of
Natural Sciences. I would like especially to
acknowledge the valuable assistance of Mr.
S. D. MacDonald, N.M.N.S. and Dr. F.
Roots, P.C.S.P. in the planning and support
of this field study.
David R. Gray
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Wolves Killing Bison 2-9-2018 at Yellowstone

Published on Feb 14, 2018

This video was recorded by Matt W. on our trip to Yellowstone on 2-9-2018 and prepared and published by me. We took a 2 day snowmobile tour starting at West Yellowstone. John was our tour guide for the 2nd day and works for Two Tops snowmobile rental (highly recommend). On our tour to Old Faithful, John got a glimpse of a wolf on the other side of the Firehole river. He lost sight of them so we continued to Old Faithful. The wolf pack was heading in that direction too. I asked John if he thought we would see the wolves again? He said he hoped to. His keen eye saw them again on the way back. We stopped to see them, about 22 of them, across the Firehole river. There was a yearling Bison on the bank of the river and the lead wolf attacked. I know it is hard to see clearly, but this is a very rare occurrence for people to see. John has been there for a long time and this was his first time seeing this. It was sad to see this happen, but it is nature working as it should. The 3 adult bison that were closest to us went to help, but it was too late.
In this video, an Arabian Wolf manages to snap a Goat on some steep cliffs. It really displays the pretty amazing adaptability of the species, I honestly thought it wouldn't be able to catch such agile prey in that particular terrain: 

It's moments like these that really solidify as to why Canis Lupus is my favorite animal. Not the biggest or baddest predator on earth, but their ever adapting nature and tenacity is what I admire the most about them. Also one can not forget about Sea Wolves:

" Unlike their inland cousins, coastal island wolves are entirely dedicated to the sea. Their genes prove it; collectively, coastal island wolves have distinct DNA that sets them apart from interior wolves, according to a 2014 study published in BMC Ecology.

Though such genetic differences within wolves is not uncommon, discovering it in an area as small as the west coast of Vancouver Island is, says co-author Erin Navid, a research grants officer at the University of Calgary.....People usually associate wolf meals with elk or deer, but these guys are practically pescatarians, with salmon accounting for nearly a quarter of their diet. Beyond that, they forage on barnacles, clams, herring eggs, seals, river otters, and whale carcasses."

Who knows, maybe in few million years these Wolves will evolve into seal or whale like carnivorans. It's a really fun idea for a speculative evolution. Either way, Canis Lupus never fails to excite me.
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