Yellowstone crowds witness wolf-bison standoff

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The day-and-a-half struggle between an ailing bison and a wolf in Yellowstone National Park came to an end about dusk on Tuesday.

According to park rangers, the beta male of the Canyon Pack brought the bison down in a meadow about 200 yards from a main park road. During the night the entire pack fed on the dead bison.

The pack--the park’s smallest, with three adults and three pups--returned Wednesday morning but left again. In the full expression of nature’s democracy, an array of animals and birds came to the site to pick the at carcass.

By Wednesday afternoon, a pair of coyotes were defending their turf against incursion from a group of ravens.


The wolf, known to some as Limpy because of a slight limp from an old injury, is the beta or subordinate male in the Canyon Pack, but he is a large and bold animal.

While his stalking drama played out over two days in front of dozens of tourists and an equal number of professional photographers--the traffic jam was tremendous--the wolf appeared unperturbed and focused.

Yellowstone’s wolves will soon be moving to their winter ground, following the elk to higher elevations. But an unseasonal warmth has kept many of the park’s big animals in the valleys and lowlands for tourists to enjoy.

--Julie Cart