I’m not sure what would be more terrifying to see running toward my direction, a mangled bison that looks half dead or a charging grizzly bear. Be that s it may, one thing’s for sure, it’d be way worse if they were both running in my direction.
These incredible photos of a grizzly running after a bison are pretty incredible. They were taken by Alex Wypyszinski, who got into photography after he and his wife started working in Yellowstone National Park during the summers. Thanks to a little bit of luck, his love of taking pictures and his working at one of the country’s most famous national parks, he was able to witness and capture on film something most people will never even come close to seeing.
The photo op happened while he had pulled over to photograph the geysers off the Grand Loop Highway.
Wypyszinski had seen and photographed plenty of bears in the park before, but this was a first for him.
“That’s one of my favorite drives every morning and I stopped in the middle of the road to take a picture of the geysers off on the other end of a big meadow and then I heard the animals before I saw them,” says Wypyszinski who has seen and photographed plenty of bears in Yellowstone over the years. “At first I had a hard time figuring out what they were. I figured it was a couple of moose, possibly.”
As crazy as the chase is, it’s the appearance of the bison that’s the strangest thing out of the whole ordeal.
“Pretty quickly it became apparent what it was, though it took a while for it to register with that animal as badly injured as it was,” he says.
It’s more than likely that the bison had fallen into one of the boiling pools in the park, which it has no shortage of thanks to high levels of thermal activity.
“At first…I figured that the bear had already gotten started on him, but it became apparent from the head that it had been badly burned and that was confirmed when I showed the pictures to some interpretive rangers at the Old Faithful Visitor’s Center,” Wypyszinski says. “That’s the only thing that could have done that much damage to the animal. It probably fell into a pool.”
After seeing the pictures and the extent of the injuries to the bison, park rangers found and put down the animal due to how bad of shape it was in. So after all that running, the bear never got to eat some bison.