Image: Star News/ YouTube

Visitors at a Dutch zoo got quite a shock recently as they witnessed a group of bears brutally attack and kill a wolf that shared their enclosure.

In a video below captured by a horrified onlooker, four bears can be seen tearing the two-year-old female wolf in a pool of water at the Dierenrijk Zoo in the Netherlands and dragging its body to land to further dismember it. Other wolves in the pack tried to fight them off, but one bear repeatedly fended them off with ferocious growls.

So why were these animals together in the first place? Zoo owners reportedly wanted to create an enriching environment that challenged the animals to get along. However, they could offer no explanation for why the bears attacked and do not plan to separate the animals going forward.

Image: Star News/ YouTube

“It’s a piece of enrichment for the animal kingdom. What happened Monday is really a one-time incident. The animals have always lived in good harmony with each other,” said a spokesperson for the Dierenrijk Zoo, according to the Daily Mail. “That’s good for the animals and we also see no reason to break them up now.”

Bears and wolves often share the same habitat in the wild, where they co-exist mostly through a strategy of mutual avoidance. In some cases, they might fight over carcasses, in which case, the bears usually prevail.

While fatal interactions do happen occasionally, they are rare and considered the exception, according to one report by the National Park Service about wolves and bears in Yellowstone National Park.

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