An incredible sighting of a grizzly bear defending a moose kill from a pack of wolves was captured on a drone in British Columbia last month.
Avid hiker and backcountry adventurer Kelly Marsh of Kitimat, British Columbia had heard of an exciting find from a friend a day earlier: Someone boating down a nearby river had happened upon a large male grizzly feasting on a moose kill on the river’s edge. As luck would have it, he was able to get in touch with the boater, who provided him with the exact location of the event.
Not one to miss out on a thrilling wildlife encounter, Marsh set out with a friend equipped with a DJI Air 2 drone, a rifle, bear spray and bear bangers (deterrents). “What we saw and were able to get on video that October was better and wilder than I ever expected,” he recounted.
Image: Snippet of YouTube capture by Kelly Marsh.
The enormous grizzly was still picking away at the moose kill, but was now accompanied by a pack of hungry gray wolves. The tenacious wolves were eagerly trying to steal the feast, with each of them taking turns attempting to snag a bite as the bear chased off the others. The grizzly held them off for hours, ensuring he was able to get his fill before leaving the carcass behind.
Kelly speculated that the moose may have been weakened due to recent weather events and was likely taken down easily by the bear.
We think with the recent rain and high waters the moose may have injured himself or even broken a leg crossing the creek.
Image: Kelly Marsh
If the day hadn’t been eventful enough, he had pushed the battery life of his drone to get the footage and was forced to land it across a creek just 600 feet from the brawling animals.
Retrieving it was an adrenaline-inducing — and chilly — affair. “My buddy was on a hillside watching the grizzly and wolves with binoculars and was going to phone me if things changed,” he recalled. “I took my pants off and crossed the creek with my rifle,” he said. “And yes, I have a photo of that.” Thankfully, he was able to safely retrieve his drone and pass along this incredible footage:
You can watch more encounters in Kitimat on Kelly’s new YouTube channel, Ice Coast Canvas.