Two colossal brown bears were documented battling it out over a whale carcass in Katmai National Park, Alaska.
The video was captured by photo tour operators at Expeditions Alaska, who were lucky enough to witness the event. The team shared details of the interaction on their YouTube channel, which highlights some of their greatest encounters.
“Amazing to witness,” they wrote. Two large male brown bears in the area had been trying to intimidate each another for quite some time, jaw clacking and strutting around one another, they recalled. Meanwhile, some smaller bears — including a female with her cub — had wandered in to feed on the carcass.
The first male stepped in to join in on the feast, seemingly unbothered by the mama bear. “Finally the 2nd male came down, with that classic side-stepping strutting gait, and headed straight for the female,” Expeditions described. The cub runs to safety and the female goes into defensive mode. Don’t mess with a mama. “[Her] power is pretty impressive, watch how far backward she goes each time. And incredibly deft footwork for her .. if she didn’t maintain her balance, she’d have been in bigger trouble,” Expeditions continued.
In a surprising turn of events, the first bear leaps into action, rushing in to attack the boar. Seeing she’s in the clear, the mother takes the opportunity to head for the tree line with her cub in tow.
After a brief but intense battle, the two males walk cautiously away from each other, eventually carrying on with their day.
The videographer took the scuffle as an opportunity to share insight into the bears’ behavior, including how to best respond when confronted with one of the colossal creatures. “I tell folks on trips all the time, how we move when we’re close to bears is super critical. Best is NOT to move, but if you/we DO move, take a lesson from this in how they respond. Slow, cautious and steady, they like, ANY sudden or jerky movement and they get real toey. And the last thing I want to do when a big ole bear is close by is upset him.”