Grizzly Chasing Bison Photo: The Back Story

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Over the last few months there has been a photo of a badly injured buffalo running from a brown bear down a street circulating around by email, websites, and social networks. Like other "viral" photos there seemed to be more than a few explanations of what happened before and after the photo. Finally we can get the correct story, has an article running about Alex Wypyszinski the photograph behind the shot.

The sight of such an injured bison alone is rare, but what Wypyszinski saw next was once in a lifetime.

"Never, ever, ever," said Wypyszinski. "I've seen plenty of bear, and more buffalo. But I've never seen anything like that before."

A grizzly was chasing the buffalo (which was practically cooked already) and gaining quickly.

Wypyszinski stopped his car on the desolate highway and took out his camera.

Visit the link to read the rest of the story and see some additional photos. Thanks go to Gatorfan for posting the link in this forum thread.


WOW amazing pic series

I have never seen anything quite like that.  I am going to copy these pics to pass around.  This truely proves a picture is worth a thousand words.  He would never be able to explain how incredible this was and get have people understand without these images.  This guy should get some kind of an award. 

ecubackpacker's picture

It's amazing the guy had the

It's amazing the guy had the sense of mind to take those incredible pics. Lucky for us!

I bet the bear was pissed. He thought he was going to have medium-rare bison for a change, instead of rare bison. Terrible, I know. Sorry.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

I cannot even fathom what I

I cannot even fathom what I would have been thinking if that scene was unfolding in front of me.  I know that one thing is for sure, I would not think to take out the camera.  I'd probably be diving in the back seat trying to hide. lol

Truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Right place, right time.  Great story.

ecoroamers's picture

Grizzley chasing Bison

From the severity of the burns on the animal it looks like it may have stumbled into one of the hot mud pots, or the scorching water pools.  The hide has been literally melted away from the flesh and the Grizzley just smells his next meal partially cooked, unfortunalty.  Its is my understanding that the Parks and Wildlife Department will not usually interfere in something created by nature, but in this case the injured animal was staying close to areas where human contact could have been a factor.  As you may know, a wounded or injured animal of this magnitude is an extremely dangerous animal, so there's no sense waiting for the inevitable.  As for Wypyszinski, you have some photo's that are once in a lifetime, but you are a very lucky man, in that the Grizzley chose to ignore a smaller, easier to catch meal (you), but it was on a mission.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is such a crazy story. 

That is such a crazy story.  I am so glad got to hear more about it and what eventually happened to the buffalo.

hawkeye270's picture

That is beyond belief! How

That is beyond belief! How amazing would it have been to be able to have witnessed that. The odds of that guy being at the right place at the right time WITH A CAMERA READY are just astounding. Good for that guy. He drops his wife off at work like a good husband and then gets treated to the real life Discovery Channel moment. I can not get over that! I love how the first couple pictures of them are coming straight at the camera and then the last couple are running straight away. That bear did not think about the guy for a moment. He smelled blood and had only one thing on his mind... and that one thing happened to be dinner running full speed down the center of the road. The picture of the bear with all four feet in the air at the same time is great too.

The wounds on the bison look severe and I can see why National Park Service employees had to put it down. Although it seems slightly strange for the park to interfere with that. I heard from someone that it was burned in a controlled blaze. Anyone know if that is true? If that is the case than I guess I can see the National Park Service doing that. They are more on the "let nature take its course" side of things than a lot of other agencies. But if the wounds were caused by human means than it seems like something the park would do.

CVC's picture

The report i heard was that

The report i heard was that the bison must have fell into hot water and sustained the burns.  I don't care about a bear eating the bison it is what animals do, but it does make me sad to think that the bison was severely burned and suffered.  I just hate for animals to suffer so I guess the bear is part of natures way of ending the suffering.  Amazing that the bison was severely burned but still had the will to live.  Didn't want to be that bears dinner did he?

The internet has really changed how we interact and look at things.  Going viral is a new phenonamom (yea, spelled that wrong but too tired to care) that boggles the mind sometimes.