We're the bison and 2021 is the bear.
Michael Daus is a business owner in Jackson, Wyoming, and decided to take his family on a trek through Yellowstone National Park back in May 2020. The family enjoyed the day and got to see the beautiful natural wonders and wildlife that roam the park, including a grizzly bear that they saw on the road as they turned into the parking lot near the Grand Prismatic Overlook trail. Prepped with bear spray, the family felt safe enough to head out as they kept a safe distance away.
On the way back to the car, however, they encountered a situation that quickly became deadly. The grizzly had moved closer to the parked vehicles while the family had embarked on their hike ... and he had company, a young bison.
The bison made an attempt to charge at the bear and the hungry, far more experienced predator returned the charge. As the family walked to the car, Daus was able to film the entire encounter.
Daus can be heard explaining what is happening on the video while he remains far away. In all, he shot about 17 minutes of video then edited it down to a five-minute clip, "Bear v Bison," and posted it on YouTube. Watch the video below:
**Please be advised this is a graphic video, showing a natural occurrence in the animal world. Viewer discretion advised.**
The video has 3 million views since it was published on YouTube in June 2020. Another edited version of it is also featured on the Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures Facebook page.
"We weren’t crazy about returning to find the bear so close, just beyond the opposite side of the small parking area," said Michael Daus. "We didn’t even see it until we were at our vehicle. I was particularly relieved that the bear seemed more interested in the bison, so while very close to the car, we simply maintained what felt like a safe distance.
Having lived nearby for decades not minutes, we certainly don’t want our actions or the appearance of our proximity to the animals to set any kind of bad example about approaching wildlife. The camera on this phone boasts a pretty amazing lens and zoom capabilities. So I was able to get all the shots from further than it may appear. The kids enjoyed watching safely from the sunroof of the car."
Yellowstone is the home of many wild animals, and the grizzly bears in Yellowstone feed on bison. They, along with wolves, are the only predators of the bison in the park, though many animals and scavengers feed off the spoils.
If you're interested in all of the crazy wildlife encounters that happened in Yellowstone last year, we've got a roundup right here! From bears to bison and buffoons, there was plenty of action at the parks to last a lifetime.
Have you ever been this close to an animal encounter like the one Daus filmed? It's a good reminder to always stay alert when interacting in nature, especially in a place like Yellowstone where humans are guests in the home of these animals.