The largest amount of mammals in the lower 48 states can be found in Yellowstone National Park, which is a cherished destination for people who want to experience the great outdoors. Over 200 different species of wildlife, including grizzly bears and bald eagles, can be found in Yellowstone. Nearly 60 different types of mammals roam their native habitat, including bison, wolves, bears and moose.
A man named Tony Schoonen is the chief of staff at the Boone and Crocket Club. During a visit to this beloved national park, they saw two animals going head to head. Luckily for us, he caught it all on camera!
An alert moose can be seen standing in a rushing river as they begin filming. Little did he know, a gray wolf was nearby, ready to make a move. Moose spend a lot of time in water, whether it’s to relax, cool off, or hydrate their massive bodies.
Bull elk, which are adult males, reach their largest size at 7 years of age. A male elk might weigh about 700 to 1,100 pounds at maturity and stand an average of 5 feet tall at the shoulder. Cows, or female moose, weigh around 500 to 600 pounds and have an average shoulder height of 4.5 feet.
This does not seem to be a fair match between the two animals. A wolf’s body is about three to five feet long, while its tail is usually one to two feet long. Males and females normally weigh 70 to 145 pounds and 60 to 100 pounds, respectively. Furthermore, two-thirds of the United States comprised the gray wolf’s historic range. With moose weighing much more than wolves, one might assume they would beat them in a fight.
In the footage uploaded by the Boone and Crocket Club YouTube channel, this gray wolf goes from camouflage in the brush near the river to attacking the elk in just seconds. Hesitant to jump into the rushing river with the much larger animal, the wolf finally takes a leap of faith.
It is not clear why the moose did not leave during the several-minute struggle of the wolf that entered the water. The ferocious wolf jumps on the moose’s back as water splashes around them. Leaving nearby tourists feeling helpless.
Wolves hunt by striding, sniffing out prey and then assessing it for weaknesses. They are a long-legged predator, capable of covering hundreds of kilometers in a few days. Between 5 and 15% of the time I see a moose, I kill it.
As the fight continues, one commentator states: “Tenacity in Survival. That water must have been unbearably cold, but both beasts endured it to try to stay alive.” Finally, the moose is almost up to its chin in the river, while the wolf continues to walk along the shore. We’re not sure of the final outcome, but we’re rooting for the poor moose.