What scares a grizzly bear? Guide sees 'unbelievably phenomenal' sight in Grand Tetons

There's not much that can send a grizzly bear running scared - especially not a mother with cubs in tow - but a nature guide recently witnessed just that, and it's only the second most surprising thing he saw that day.

As many as 13 wolverines were gathered, chasing a grizzly and three cubs across the steep, rugged terrain of the Grand Tetons, according to an Oct. 2 Facebook post by ecotourism agency Yellowstone Insight.

Doug MacCartney snapped pictures of the distant figures rushing through a band of snow on Aug. 8, the post said. The action was a few hundred yards east of the route MacCartney and two fellow hikers were taking to reach their destination in the Teton Wilderness, the post said.

The wolverines trickled into MacCartney's view. He spotted the first on a large rock, dashing down from its overlook in pursuit of the bear, then joined by a second, then a third, followed by a mother and two kits, the post said.

Wolverines are compact but ferocious, standing about 1.5 feet in height, and typically weighing anywhere between 17 to 40 pounds. Still, they're the largest land-dwelling member of the weasel family and are known to be cunning, strong for their size and more than willing to put up a fight. Their claws and teeth help too.

This undated image provided by the U.
This undated image provided by the U.  

"It looked like the wolverines were chasing the bears for quite a while," according to MacCartney. "But when the bears took an easier route out of the bowl along a rocky ledge, the growing group of wolverines went up" to the right, while another group broke left, trying to surround the bears on both sides.

While the bears navigated the rough terrain well, the smaller wolverines continually outmaneuvered them, MacCartney said.

"It was very hard for us to keep track of all of the wolverines and the bears as they fled the area," MacCartney said, according to the post, but he's confident there were at least 12 of them in total.

Wolverines are rarely seen. They're generally solitary animals and their population in the contiguous 48 states is estimated around 400 or fewer, according to wildlife experts. Others say there could be as few as 25 wolverines in the contiguous U.S.

They don't reproduce much, and they require a lot of space, with home ranges varying from 100 to 600 square miles, preferring high elevations.

To see one wolverine, much less a dozen or more in the same area, all apparently working together against a bear and cubs, flies in the face of most documented behavior for the species.

"We couldn't believe what we had just seen," MacCartney said. "We were all pumped up and in awe by what we had just witnessed."

Shared food sources - army cutworm moths and white bark pine nuts - could be responsible for drawing so many wolverines and the bears to the same location, Jeff Copeland, founder of The Wolverine Foundation, told Yellowstone Insight.

But the pictures suggest that wolverines may not be as solitary as they're thought to be.

"With that said, 12-13 wolverines seen at the same time, on the same mountain, congregated together is quite unbelievably phenomenal," Yellowstone Insight said.

Rare white 'spirit bear' caught on trail camera in Michigan woods, photos show

Giant rodent native to South America ended up in Illinois river. A fisherman killed it

How high can a coyote jump? Backyard video of bold intruder takes Texans by surprise

Fighting bears fall from sheer mountain cliff, Spanish video shows. Only one survived


More Related News

Gardner, No. 3 Virginia rally for 70-68 win at Michigan
Gardner, No. 3 Virginia rally for 70-68 win at Michigan

Tony Bennett's team passed all its tests in the opening month of the season.

Michigan basketball can
Michigan basketball can't hold off No. 3 Virginia, fall in ACC/Big Ten Challenge, 70-68

Michigan basketball led by 11 points in the second half, but shot just 38.7% in the final 20 minutes as No. 3 Virginia came back to win 70-68.

Michigan football up to No. 2 in next-to-last College Football Playoff ranking
Michigan football up to No. 2 in next-to-last College Football Playoff ranking

Michigan football (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) checks in at No. 2 in the most recent CFP ranking after thumping previous No. 2 Ohio State, 45-23, in Columbus.

Did a botched fake punt change game for Ohio State against Michigan?
Did a botched fake punt change game for Ohio State against Michigan?

A key play in the loss to Michigan came when Ohio State punted in the third quarter while trailing Michigan 24-20. But plans for a fake punt failed.

Tom Izzo
Tom Izzo 'completely upset' about Big Ten's handling of Michigan Stadium tunnel fight

The Big Ten's call to fine MSU $100,000 for the Oct. 30 tunnel fight at Michigan Stadium had Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo steamed Monday.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • sam
    (2022-10-05 15:27:30Z)

    In search of the best exotic medical marijuana strain online our cookies dispensary is here to serve your dailly needs . At cookiesextracts your satisfaction is our priority


Top News: Latin America