Wyoming Bear Works Smarter, Not Harder And Let’s Wolfpack Do Hard Work
Yellowstone National Park is an action-packed place where not every animal gets along, but sometimes they'll work together to get a meal. That's at least how it starts out anyway.
This time of year the bears are all tucked away in their dens in the middle of their winter nap, but leading up to bedtime they'll do whatever they need to do in order to get a nice meal.
Wolves don't take that winter sleep-cation their bear neighbors do, so they're always out looking for food. Finding an elk herd and picking out the weakest link in the herd is something the wolves are really good at doing and will spend lots of energy doing it. The real concern is using all that energy and not getting food to replenish it.
Back in October park biologists caught a very rare occasion where a big grizzly and the Junction Butte wolf pack were working together to bring down an elk dinner. This grizzly was smarter than the average bear and decided that the large group of wolves would do a much better job of chasing down the elk and picking the best one that could provide the meal. Griz decided to lay back and let the wolves burn all the energy and he would be waiting to collect the reward.
The bear pulled the old 'work smarter, not harder' trick on the pack and once the pack did all the work, Griz swooped in and took the fresh meat and left.
Park staff call this behavior 'kleptoparasitism', yep they consider Griz to be a klepto. You can see the entire gameplay out in this video posted in December on the Yellowstone Facebook page.