On Thursday, a grizzly attacked a female black bear and cubs in woods south of Whitecourt, and entire fight was captured on camera by Logan Hunter who was hunting with his father in this remote area at that time.
Logan Hunter who caught this fight on his mobile camera later posted the video on Youtube.
According to Logan, this site is located about 40 minutes south of Whitecourt, on a remote road off Highway 32. The father and the son were sitting in a truck when they saw a grizzly bear in the distance.
“We looked at it with the binoculars and realized it was a grizzly bear,” the 19-year-old Whitecourt resident Hunter told CTV News.
He said that his father became very excited to see the grizzly bear as it was the second instance when he was watching this wild animal in his entire life. They drove their car closer to the animal (although at a safe distance) to have a closer look, and found that the grizzly had actually spotted a den, where a female black bear was hiding with her three cubs. The grizzly was trying to remove the soil to hunt the cubs.
“We didn’t realize what it was trying to dig for until we saw a black paw come up out and started fighting,” Hunter said.
“It’s hard to see in the video but one of the cubs tried to run for it,” Hunter said.
The sow and two were able to escape the sight, but the third cub was most likely killed by the grizzly, according to Logan Hunter.
“I believe the cub was killed, yes,” Hunter said. “There was still screaming when we had left. Mama bear and the other two cubs ran off. We couldn’t see them any more and he was in the bushes with the one cub.
“He wasn’t even bothered by the fact that we were sitting there. All he was worried about was the other bear that was in his territory, I guess.” Hunter told CBC’s Radio Active.
“The grizzly bear there that was digging up the top of the den was definitely very territorial and wasn’t going to back off.”
“It was super nerve-racking. Your adrenalin is rushing, you’re shaking.”
“And it’s hard to see in the video, but you can see one of the cubs trying to make a run for it right as he jumps into the bushes. And then the mom pops out, and right after the two other cubs pop out and run off, and he had the one cub grabbed on the edge of the treeline.”
Dale Gienow, a wildlife expert and director of WILDNorth, told CTV News that mother bears know that they can’t fight a grizzly bear. In this case, had mother bear come out of the den, she would have been killed by the grizzly bear. Gienow added that such attacks are common in the wilds as grizzly bears prefer hunting moose and elk calves or black bear cubs.
Grizzlies are considered more aggressive compared to black bears. An adult male weighs on average 180–360 kg (400–790 lb). Adult grizzlies do not climb trees well. Grizzly bears usually avoid contact with humans, and most cases of attacks on humans occur when they are surprised at very close range.
“Much easier taking down those young ones than the adults, so this happens quite often,” Gienow said.
“We’re looking at a pretty natural process. So this is something that occurs naturally in the wild that people aren’t often privy to,” Gienow added.
To be right there and to catch it on video was kind of a crazy thing,” Hunter added.