Video Shows Wolves, Bison Yellowstone National Park Worker Had to Get Past for Groceries

A park ranger at Yellowstone National Park had trouble getting his groceries when his truck got surrounded by a herd of Bison being hunted by a pack of wolves, footage shows.

The video of the encounter was posted to Reddit on Thursday by National Park employee Patrick Mcglone. Mcglone told Newsweek that this type of encounter is very rare.

Mglone said that despite wolves being "elusive creatures," it is common to see them wandering around the park. But employees almost never see them hunting. As of December 2021, there were at least 95 wolves and eight packs living in Yellowstone.

"People who have been here for 20 years say I was very fortunate to catch this...It's rare to watch [wolves] hunt from half a mile away in the valleys, let alone have them funnel a herd around your truck," he said.

Mcglone said this encounter was one of his "greatest experiences" he has had since working for the park.

Most wolves stay clear from Bison because they tend to be too large to take down unless there are many wolves in the pack. Adult bison are huge animals and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. An adult bison could easily kill or critically injure a lone wolf.

However, when a wolf's preferred prey, such as elk, are not around during the winter months, some larger wolf packs may turn bison, as they do not migrate. Hunting bison would usually require older, more experienced male wolves.

The video begins with a herd of bison gathering around the front of Mcglone's truck in a snowy landscape.

Despite there being snow on the ground, Mcglone said the video was taken before it was necessary to start using snowmobiles around the park. Being inside his truck meant he was safer from any bison who might decide to charge.

Yellowstone is home to an abundance of wildlife but is particularly well known for its bison herds, one of which is the oldest and largest in the United States. The bison population in Yellowstone ranges from 2,300 to 5,500 animals in two subpopulations.

Bison have injured more people than any other animal at Yellowstone, according to the National Parks Service. They can become aggressive if humans get too close, and have been known to charge when they feel threatened.

In the footage, the bison eventually move out of the way to reveal a pack of wolves, walking up the road.

Mcglone's truck slowly keeps moving while the wolves surround him. One wolf stops right in front of the truck, but moves away as the truck edges forward. Eventually, as the truck draws closer to them, the wolves begin to disperse.

Yellowstone
A picture shows a wolf in Yellowstone National Park. As of December 2021, there were at least 95 wolves and eight packs living in Yellowstone. William Campbell/Getty Images