Yellowstone National Park.  September 26, 2020.

The following is the backstory to a battle between two of the largest collared and tagged grizzlies in Yellowstone. The bear on the left, (without a collar) killed a 6x6 bull elk nine days before I was on site.  His collar number was 791, which he lost this spring. He is approximately nine years old and weighs around 600 pounds. He has a permanent injury to the first claw on his front right paw which leaves it loose and exposed.  791 fed on the elk for seven days and would bury the carcass between feedings then lay on top of it. He shared with no one, not even the ravens. The day before this fight ensued he had moved away from the carcass. The bear to the right (collar numbered 881) took over the elk and moved it up the hill.  881, a male bear is about 20 years old and was just collared a week ago weighing in at 550 pounds. 791 returned to the elk carcass and circled the site waiting for an opportunity to move in again but 881 was not leaving and kept putting more dirt on the elk.  791 moved into the river and made an approach when 881 charged and 791 backed away.  881 returned to the carcass and 791 approached again.  This time when 881 charged, 791 stood his ground and the battle ensued.

BATTLE OF YELLOWSTONE HEAVYWEIGHTS

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