Christopher Martin and motorists witnessed quite the spectacle earlier this month when a pack of wolves tore apart an elk on a railway overpass in Banff National Park in Canada. Martin saw the events unfolding at the overpass as he snapped some once in a lifetime photos.
An recounting of the attack on Martin’s blog:
“The elk took a couple of paces, doubled back and then repeated that a couple of times. It seemed unusual behaviour so I trained my telephoto lens on her to have a better look. When I did, I couldn’t make out anything unusual—until a wolf’s head came into view when it leaped up and bit the elk’s neck; At that point, part of me was in amazement but the more important part got to work. I ran up the small hill beside the bridge to get level with the animals. As I did, I could see four wolves (although the pack has five members; I just don’t have one photograph with more than four but all five were likely there) surrounding the elk. I did not see what led to the elk being on the bridge but suspect it was herded there by the wolves.”
Martin describes how smart he realized the wolves were and how they attacked in waves throughout the 20 minute event.
“It really struck me how smart the wolves are, to hem it in on the bridge and take away a bunch of escape options. One wolf would distract from the front and others would bite from the back, crippling the elk’s legs,” Chris Martin told Rocky Mountain Outlook.
Several wolf packs exist within the park but park officials haven’t identified the attacking pack.