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Full EpisodeClash: Encounters of Bears and Wolves

Yellowstone National Park is a world of predators, scavengers and opportunists. In this vast and complex kingdom, two dominant predators reign supreme: the grizzly bear and the wolf. Size and power square off against speed and teamwork, as mighty grizzly bears contend with powerful packs of wolves for control of the food supply. Normally these two fearsome hunters would rule their ranges uncontested, but in Yellowstone they must share resources, or face starvation.

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IN THE SWEEPING WILDERNESS OF YELLOWSTONE, THE GRIZZLY ONCE RULED ALONE.

UNMATCHED IN SIZE AND STRENGTH, NO CREATURE COULD CHALLENGE THE MIGHTY BEAR.

THEN CAME THE RETURN OF A FORMIDABLE RIVAL... TALL, RANGY WOLVES FROM THE NORTH NOW STAKE THEIR CLAIM TO YELLOWSTONE.

AND SOMEWHERE IN THE BACK COUNTRY, AN EPIC BATTLE UNFOLDS.

IT'S A CLASH OF WILLS -- AND OPPOSING SKILLS -- THAT ECHOES ALL THROUGH YELLOWSTONE.

IN THE CAULDRON OF THIS WILDERNESS, THE GRIZZLY HAS THE MOST TO LOSE.

WILL WOLVES BE THE NEW MASTERS OF YELLOWSTONE?

OR CAN THE GRIZZLY KEEP ITS KINGDOM AND EMERGE THE VICTOR HERE?

IT'S SPRING IN THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF WYOMING.

THE YEAR IS ABOUT TO BEGIN FOR THE GRIZZLIES OF YELLOWSTONE.

BY EARLY MARCH, BEARS BEGIN TO EMERGE FROM THEIR LONG WINTER'S NAP.

[ GEESE HONKING ] THEY MAY NOT HAVE EATEN A THING FOR FOUR OR FIVE MONTHS -- AND WITH SNOW STILL DEEP, A FEMALE AND THREE CUBS SEARCH FOR A WINTERKILL.

OTTERS HAVE BEEN OUT ALL WINTER, SLIPPING AND SLIDING BETWEEN STREAMS, LOOKING FOR PATCHES OF OPEN WATER.

THEY'RE KEPT UNDER CLOSE WATCH BY A COYOTE.

HE'S ON A CONSTANT SEARCH FOR FOOD.

THIS IS A WORLD OF PREDATORS, SCAVENGERS, AND OPPORTUNISTS.

IN THE THAWING SURFACE LAYER OF ICE, THE GRIZZLIES FIND A STRANGE WINDFALL.

ENTOMBED IN THE ICE ALL WINTER, FROZEN FISH ARE THE FIRST BANQUET OF THE YEAR FOR THE BEARS.

WHILE THE BEARS SEARCH FOR ANOTHER EASY MEAL, THE WOLVES OF THE HAYDEN PACK GATHER TO FEAST ON THE REWARDS OF THEIR OWN HARD WORK.

BUT A BOLD YOUNG BEAR HAS FOUND THEIR CARCASS, AND A GRIZZLY IS ACCUSTOMED TO TAKING WHAT HE WANTS.

THE HAYDEN WOLVES SIZE UP THE SITUATION.

THE PACK IS NINE WOLVES STRONG, AND THE BEAR... IS NOT AS BIG AS HE COULD BE.

HE'S TRIED TO BURY THE CARCASS, AND DEFENDS IT FROM THE CENTER OF HIS EARTHWORKS.

IT'S HIS STRENGTH AGAINST THEIR SPEED, BUT THE WOLVES SEEM TO THINK THEY CAN TAKE HIM.

THE HAYDENS PROVE TO BE MORE THAN THE YOUNG BEAR CAN HANDLE, THIS TIME.

BEARS OR WOLVES -- IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO THE RAVENS.

THEY ALWAYS MAKE THEIR POINT -- BUT MANAGE TO STAY ABOVE THE COMPETITION.

BISON WILL FACE BOTH WOLVES AND BEARS OVER THE COURSE OF THEIR LIVES, BUT THE FIRST CHALLENGE FOR NEWBORN CALVES IS JUST KEEPING UP WITH THEIR MOTHERS.

THEY'RE ON THEIR WAY TO SUMMER PASTURES, AND FOR THE CALVES, IT'S SINK OR SWIM.

INSTINCTIVELY, THE CALVES SEEK SHELTER NEXT TO THEIR MOTHERS.

BUT THE WATERS ARE COLD AND FAST -- TOO FAST FOR THE TINY CALVES.

ONE HAS BEEN SWEPT INTO A LOGJAM, AND IS IN REAL TROUBLE.

HIS MOTHER HAS SUDDENLY REALIZED WHAT'S HAPPENING.

THE CALF BREAKS FREE, BUT IS NOT OUT OF DANGER.

CALVES OFTEN LOSE THEIR MOTHERS DURING RIVER CROSSINGS, AND WITHOUT HER, HE CAN'T SURVIVE.

THIS CALF IS A LUCKY ONE.

HE'S SAFE, THOUGH UTTERLY EXHAUSTED.

THE YELLOWSTONE RIVER WAS JUST THE FIRST OF MANY PERILS TO COME.

A GRIZZLY IS FOLLOWING BEHIND THEM, AND FOR THE BEAR, IT'S HUNTING SEASON.

YELLOWSTONE'S 3,500 BISON ARE THE LARGEST FREE-RANGING BISON HERD IN THE WORLD.

AS THEY GATHER ON THE GREENING MEADOWS OF HAYDEN VALLEY, THE OLD FRONTIER LOOKS VERY MUCH ALIVE.

IT'S A SCENE ONE OLD GRIZZLY HAS WITNESSED MANY TIMES.

THIS RUGGED VETERAN HAS ROAMED YELLOWSTONE FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS, LONG BEFORE WOLVES WERE BROUGHT BACK TO THE PARK.

HE IS BEAR NUMBER 211, KNOWN TO BEAR WATCHERS AS 'SCARFACE.'

IN HIS YOUTH, HE HUNTED BISON IN THIS GREAT VALLEY.

NOW, HE LEAVES SUCH HIGH RISK WORK TO A YOUNGER GENERATION.

THE BEAR HAS NO ADVANTAGE OF SURPRISE -- YET HE SUDDENLY SWINGS INTO ACTION.

THE CHASE IS JUST YOUTHFUL EXUBERANCE -- THERE'S NOT MUCH HOPE OF SUCCESS.

THE BEAR WILL NEED A BETTER STRATEGY, BUT A TRULY DEVIOUS PLAN IS A COYOTE'S SPECIALTY.

HE'S SO SMALL, NO ONE TAKES HIM SERIOUSLY.

HE TESTS A CALF.

THIS ONE'S BIG AND STRONG.

THEN, HE FINDS A SMALLER ONE.

HE PRETENDS TO PLAY -- BUT THIS IS NO GAME.

IF THE COYOTE CAN COAX THE CALF OFF BY ITSELF, HE HAS EVERY INTENTION OF KILLING IT.

ONE BITE COULD CRIPPLE THE CALF.

[ BISON GRUNTING ] BUT SOME MOTHERLY BACKUP PUTS AN END TO THAT.

ANOTHER GRIZZLY IS ON THE CALVING GROUNDS -- AND THIS ONE HAS PERFECTED HIS CRAFT.

THE GRIZZLY USES HIS TOP SPEED OF 35 MILES PER HOUR TO SEPARATE A CALF FROM ITS MOTHER.

AND THOUGH THE BISON WEIGHS TWICE AS MUCH AS THE BEAR, SHE'S YOUNG, AND UNDONE BY THE GRIZZLY'S AGGRESSION.

SHE HESITATES -- AND HER CALF IS LOST.

FOR HUNTERS AND HUNTED ALIKE, EACH ENCOUNTER IN YELLOWSTONE PRESENTS A CRITICAL CHOICE.

WHAT IS BRAVE ONE MOMENT IS FOOLISH THE NEXT.

TO FIGHT OR TO FLEE -- ALL OF LIFE HANGS ON THE DECISION.

WITH TWO WOLVES OUT ON THE PROWL, A MOTHER ELK WEIGHS HER OPTIONS CAREFULLY.

THE WOLVES HAVE SEEN HER BUT NOT HER CALF.

IT'S TOO YOUNG TO OUTRUN THE WOLVES.

ITS ONLY DEFENSE IS TO HIDE AND KEEP COMPLETELY STILL.

ITS MOTHER HEADS STRAIGHT FOR THE WOLVES.

[ ELK CALLS ] HER PURPOSE IS TO DISTRACT THEM, TO KEEP THEIR ATTENTION ENTIRELY ON HER.

AGAIN AND AGAIN, SHE CHARGES -- THEN INVITES THEM TO CHASE HER, USING THE RIVER AS A SAFE RETREAT.

SHE CAN PLAY THIS GAME AGAINST TWO WOLVES.

SHE WOULD NEVER ATTEMPT THIS WITH AN ENTIRE WOLF PACK.

FRUSTRATED, THE WOLVES GIVE UP.

THE CALF OWES ITS LIFE TO THE TACTICS AND THE COURAGE OF ITS MOTHER.

MOTHERHOOD, EVEN FOR A GRIZZLY BEAR, IS A TEST OF CHARACTER.

IT'S JUNE, AND A SPRING SNOW SQUALL HAS KICKED UP.

BUT THE BEAR AND HER CUB ARE CONFRONTING MORE THAN THE WEATHER.

WOLVES FROM THE DRUID PACK HAVE CAUGHT THEM OUT IN THE OPEN.

IN THE TUG OF WAR BETWEEN GRIZZLIES AND WOLVES, THE WOLVES ATTACK WHERE THEY CAN.

THEY ARE AFTER THE CUB.

IF THEY CAN KILL IT, THEY WILL ELIMINATE A FUTURE RIVAL.

SHE'S NOT A BIG BEAR, BUT SHE STANDS HER GROUND.

THE WOLVES WON'T RISK AN INJURY.

THEN, SUDDENLY, IT'S OVER.

THE WOLVES MAKE A DECISION, AND THE BEARS ARE FREE TO GO.

AS THE TWO DOMINANT PREDATORS IN YELLOWSTONE, GRIZZLIES AND WOLVES MAKE LIFE HARD FOR EACH OTHER.

THE CUB IS VULNERABLE TO THE WOLVES IF HE SURVIVES TO BECOME A REALLY BIG BEAR, THE TABLES WILL TURN.

BUT HE WILL BE A CUB FOR A LONG TIME YET, AND GROWING UP IS A FULL-TIME JOB.

OUT ALONG THE EDGE OF THE YELLOWSTONE RIVER, SANDHILL CRANES ARE ANNOUNCING THEIR TERRITORIES.

NOW, IT'S THE BEARS' TURN TO CAUSE TROUBLE.

THE CRANES TRY TO SHOO THEM AWAY.

FOR THE CUB, IT'S JUST AN ADVENTURE.

THINGS ARE EVEN MORE INTERESTING WITH A BROTHER OR SISTER.

CUBS CAN TURN ANYTHING INTO A TOY -- EVEN A BISON PIE.

EVERY GAME LETS THEM DISCOVER WHAT THEY CAN DO, AND THEIR MOTHER IS ALWAYS THERE TO SUPERVISE.

FOR GRIZZLIES, THESE ARE THE DAYS OF FAMILY LIFE.

THEY'LL SPEND TWO AND A HALF YEARS UNDER THE CONSTANT CARE OF THEIR MOTHER.

THEN THE CUBS WILL BE BIG ENOUGH TO GO THEIR SEPARATE WAYS AND TRAVEL THROUGH YELLOWSTONE ALONE.

UNTIL THEN, SHE IS EVERYTHING THEY NEED.

A WOLF'S LIFESTYLE COULDN'T BE MORE DIFFERENT.

WOLF PUPS ARE USED TO LARGE FAMILIES.

THERE ARE FIVE PUPS IN THE AVERAGE LITTER.

AT ONE MONTH OLD, THEY BEGIN TO VENTURE AWAY FROM THE DEN.

THEIR MOTHER IS THE ALPHA FEMALE, THE WHITE WOLF WITH THE RESEARCH COLLAR.

BUT THEY HAVE OTHER GUARDIANS, TOO -- OLDER BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AUNTS AND UNCLES.

A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY IS ALWAYS IN ATTENDANCE.

WHEN THE PUPS GROW UP, MANY WILL DISPERSE TO OTHER PACKS, LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO BELONG.

WOLVES WILL ALWAYS BE DRAWN TO EACH OTHER'S COMPANY.

A GRIZZLY AMBLES ALONG A TRAIL ON HIS SOLITARY WAY ABOVE THE DEN.

IT'S OLD SCARFACE.

HE PROBABLY MEANS THE PUPS NO HARM, BUT HE'S COME WAY TOO CLOSE FOR THE WOLVES' COMFORT.

THE ADULTS TREAT HIM AS A SERIOUS THREAT.

IT'S THE PUPS' FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH A BEAR, AND THEIR ELDERS HAVE SHOWN THEM SOMETHING VALUABLE -- TOGETHER, THEY CAN CHALLENGE A GRIZZLY... AND DEFEAT IT.

AS FOR SCARFACE, HE HASN'T LIVED THIS LONG WITHOUT KNOWING HOW TO AVOID REAL CONFLICT.

BY THE END OF JUNE, THE HIGH COUNTRY IS BRIGHT WITH COLOR.

[ BIRD SINGING ] SUMMER RESIDENTS ARE SETTLING IN.

THEY'RE CLAIMING TERRITORIES, BUILDING HOMES, FINDING PARTNERS.

EVEN GRIZZLIES GET CAUGHT UP IN THE SOCIAL SCENE.

IT'S THE MATING SEASON.

A COURTING COUPLE COULD BE MISTAKEN FOR YOUNGSTERS PLAYING.

BUT FOR GRIZZLIES, THIS IS ROMANCE.

ONCE SHE HAS ACCEPTED HIM, THEY WILL WRESTLE AND PLAY AND MATE MANY TIMES, STAYING TOGETHER FOR TEN DAYS OR SO.

BUT THEIR DEVOTION WILL BE FLEETING -- ENDURING BONDS ARE NOT IN THEIR NATURE.

YET WHILE IT LASTS, THEY SHARE A MOMENT OF TENDERNESS GRIZZLIES SELDOM DISPLAY.

[ LOWING ] WHILE THE MATING SEASON BRINGS SOLITARY GRIZZLIES TOGETHER, IT SENDS THE COMPANIONABLE BISON INTO AN UPROAR.

BULLS ARE BUILT FOR THE BATTLES OF THE RUT.

THEY WIELD THEIR MASSIVE HEADS AS BOTH WEAPON AND DEFENSE.

THEY MUST PROTECT THEIR OWN BODIES AS THEY TWIST AND TURN, PRESSING FOR AN ADVANTAGE.

THEY ARE ONE-TON WARRIORS, AND EACH BREEDING SEASON, MORE THAN A FEW ARE FATALLY WOUNDED.

THIS YOUNG BULL MUST HAVE TAKEN ON MORE THAN HIS MATCH AND HAS SUFFERED A HEAD INJURY.

ROUND AND ROUND HE TURNS, UNABLE TO FIND HIS WAY FORWARD.

THEN, REMARKABLY, HE MAKES IT TO SOLID GROUND.

BISON ARE AS TOUGH AS THEY COME.

DAYS LATER, THE INJURED BULL STAGGERS ON, ALONE BUT STILL ALIVE.

WHEN A BISON DOES GO DOWN IN COMBAT, A GRIZZLY WINS.

IT'S ONE OF THE RARE CARCASSES NOT SUPPLIED BY WOLVES.

A BEAR THIS SIZE WOULD TAKE A LOT FOR WOLVES TO RUN OFF -- THAT'S A JOB FOR ANOTHER GRIZZLY.

SEVERAL BIG MALES MAY WANDER IN OVERLAPPING RANGES, AND THEY ARE CERTAIN TO HAVE CROSSED PATHS BEFORE.

THEY BOTH LOOK INTIMIDATING TO OUR EYES, BUT THE BEARS ARE KEENLY AWARE OF EACH OTHER'S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES.

[ HOWLING ] THE HAYDEN WOLVES HAVE FOUND THE CARCASS AND CALL FOR REINFORCEMENTS.

THEY NEED TO RALLY THE ENTIRE PACK TO CHALLENGE SUCH A BEAR.

[ RAVENS CROAKING ] RAVENS ALSO CALL EACH OTHER IN.

THEY'RE OFTEN THE FIRST TO SPOT A CARCASS, BUT THEY WAIT FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO BREAK IT OPEN.

THE WOLF'S CALLS ARE GOING UNANSWERED.

THE PACK IS TOO FAR FLUNG, AND WITH NO CHANCE TO DOMINATE THE CARCASS, THE WOLVES JUST DRIFT AWAY.

BUT A GRIZZLY'S TOUGHEST COMPETITION ISN'T FROM WOLVES AT ALL.

HIS ULTIMATE CHALLENGE COMES WHEN HE MEETS AN EQUAL -- AND THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT WHO'S STRONGER.

[ GROWLING ] THE BEAR THAT TURNS AND WALKS AWAY IS THE WINNER.

SHOWING HIS BACK IS A SIGN OF SUPREME CONFIDENCE.

PERHAPS THESE TWO WILL MEET AGAIN AND THERE WILL BE A REMATCH.

MAYBE IT'S BEEN SETTLED BETWEEN THEM FOR GOOD.

FOR THE GRIZZLIES, THIS YEAR'S BATTLE FOR YELLOWSTONE IS COMING TO A CLOSE.

IT'S BEGINNING TO SNOW.

ONE BY ONE, THE BEARS RETREAT TO THEIR DENS.

WINTER SETTLES IN.

SNOW BRINGS ELK DOWN FROM THE HIGH COUNTRY TO WINTERING GROUNDS IN THE VALLEYS.

[ WOLVES HOWLING ] AND WHEREVER THE ELK GO, THE WOLVES FOLLOW.

WINTER IS THE SEASON WHEN WOLVES ARE RIDING HIGH.

SEVERE CONDITIONS ALWAYS WORK IN THEIR FAVOR, WEARING DOWN THEIR PREY.

THE DEEPER THE SNOW, THE BETTER THE HUNTING.

NO BEARS WILL CONTEST THE CARCASS -- BUT MANY OTHER SCAVENGERS GATHER AT THE FEAST.

EAGLES, RAVENS, MAGPIES, AND COYOTES ARE UNINVITED GUESTS AT EVERY KILL.

THOUGH WOLVES HAVE THE UNDISPUTED UPPER HAND, THEY MAKE THE LONG WINTER EASIER FOR ALL THESE OTHER CARNIVORES.

[ SNARLING ] AS LONG AS THERE ARE ELK, THE WOLVES WILL PROVIDE.

BUT ALL THESE HUNGRY SCAVENGERS STEAL SO MUCH MEAT THAT THEY MAY BE ONE REASON WHY THE WOLVES FORM PACKS -- TO PROTECT THEIR OWN SHARE OF THE KILL.

COME FEBRUARY, WOLVES GO VISITING PACK TO PACK.

NOW IS SEASON FOR COURTING AND MATING.

IF A STRANGER COMES CALLING, YEARLING FEMALES AND PUPS COME OUT TO GREET HIM.

HE'LL PLEASE THEM ALL IF HE CAN, BUT WHAT HE'S REALLY AFTER IS A WILLING PARTNER -- AND A PRIVATE RENDEZVOUS.

YET EVEN THE MOST INTIMATE MOMENT OFTEN REQUIRES THE PACK'S APPROVAL.

THE ALPHA PAIR THAT LEADS THE PACK MAY SHARE A BOND THAT LASTS FOR LIFE.

BUT ALL THIS TOGETHERNESS COMES DOWN TO JUST ONE THING -- WOLVES NEED EACH OTHER.

WOLVES ARE ACCUSTOMED TO WORKING YEAR-ROUND AND FEEDING MANY MOUTHS.

BUT COME THE END OF WINTER, IT CAN TAKE THE ABILITIES OF A BEAR TO GET THE JOB DONE.

AS ICE BEGINS TO THAW, A FROZEN POND BECOMES TREACHEROUS -- SOLID ONE MOMENT, SOFT THE NEXT.

A WOLF HAS DISCOVERED ITS MOST RECENT VICTIM.

THE WOLVES WEIGH ABOUT A HUNDRED POUNDS AND CANNOT TRUST THE ICE TO HOLD THEM.

THEY CAN SEE THE CARCASS, AND WOULD TAKE THE HANDOUT... BUT IT JUST ISN'T WORTH THE RISK.

AS THE POND CONTINUES TO FREEZE AND THAW, COYOTES VENTURE ONTO THE ICE.

AT 30 POUNDS, THEY ARE LIGHT ENOUGH TO CROSS IT, BUT NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO MOVE THE CARCASS.

IF THE ICE MELTS MUCH MORE, THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO REACH THE CARCASS AT ALL.

FOR ONCE, A GRIZZLY, FRESH FROM HIS DEN, ARRIVES AS SOMETHING OF A HERO.

HE'S CERTAIN TO FALL THROUGH... BUT HIS MASSIVE STRENGTH WILL COME TO THE RESCUE.

IT'S ONLY WHEN HIS COAT IS SOAKING WET THAT YOU CAN SEE HOW THIN HE IS AND WHY THIS CARCASS IS WORTH SO MUCH EFFORT.

AS THE BEAR REACHES SHORE WITH THE PRIZE, EVEN THE RAVENS CAN APPRECIATE HIS LABORS.

AND THERE'LL BE BONES FOR THE COYOTES AFTER ALL.

[ HOWLING ] DAWN SENDS AN EERIE SMOKE THROUGH THE REMAINS OF A FOREST FIRE.

IT'S MOISTURE, VAPORIZING FROM THE BLACKENED TRUNKS AS THEY WARM UP IN THE SUN.

THOUGH THE FIRE KILLED THE TREES, A WILD GARDEN SPRINGS UP AT THEIR CHARRED FEET, RICH WITH MINERALS FROM THE ASH.

GRIZZLIES SEEK OUT THIS FRESH, NUTRITIOUS SALAD.

A GREAT GRAY OWL DOZES AT THE EDGE OF THE BURN.

HE'S BEEN UP ALL NIGHT, HUNTING.

BUT A ROBIN HAS A NEST NEARBY.

IN YELLOWSTONE, CONFLICTS CAN FLARE UP IN ANY CORNER.

[ CHIRPING ] UNTIL THE OWL LEAVES... THERE'LL BE NO REST FOR EITHER OF THEM.

[ GRUNTING ] A GRIZZLY HAS COME TO THE RECOVERING BURN TO FEAST ON DAISIES, ASTERS, FIREWEED, AND COW PARSNIP, TEACHING HER YEARLING CUB THAT THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO FORAGE.

A CUB HAS TO LEARN A GREAT VARIETY OF PLANTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM AT WHAT TIME OF YEAR.

AND WHILE ONE CUB STUDIES THIS LESSON, ANOTHER FOLLOWS ITS MOTHER ONTO THE CALVING GROUNDS OF THE ELK.

GRIZZLIES AREN'T FULL-TIME PREDATORS LIKE THE WOLVES, BUT THEY TAKE THEIR TOLL OF ELK CALVES EACH SPRING.

THE BEAR MOVES THROUGH THE GRASS WITH A PURPOSE.

SHE RELIES ON HER NOSE, TESTING THE AIR AND SEARCHING THE GROUND FOR THE SCENT OF ELK.

IT'S ALL HER TINY CUB CAN DO TO KEEP UP.

[ BEAR PANTING ] FOR THE CALF, THE BRIEF DANCE BETWEEN BIRTH AND DEATH WILL BE OVER IN A MOMENT.

FOR THE CUB, IT'S A FIRST STEP IN HONING A SKILL THAT WILL HELP HIM SUCCEED IN YELLOWSTONE.

YET BEARS HAVE MANY WAYS TO MAKE A LIVING.

WOLVES MUST HUNT TO SURVIVE, BUT A GRIZZLY'S LIFE IS FULL OF CHOICE.

OLD SCARFACE MAY NO LONGER BE ABLE TO CHASE DOWN ELK, BUT HE HAS MANAGED TO CATCH A FISH.

AND AS HE WANDERS HIS RANGE, THERE WILL BE MUSHROOMS AND DANDELIONS, ANTS AND EARTHWORMS, BISCUIT ROOT AND BERRIES TO HARVEST.

THE GRIZZLY NEEDS A KINGDOM VAST AND VARIED AND COMPLEX.

HE NEEDS ALL OF YELLOWSTONE.

[ BOOMING ] [ WOLF HOWLING ] [ HONKING ] AT SUNRISE, THE OTTERS OF YELLOWSTONE LAKE ARE OUT CATCHING BREAKFAST.

THE COYOTE IS QUICK TO SEIZE HIS CHANCE.

EVERYONE HAS TO MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR TALENTS.

IN THIS CAULDRON OF COMPETITION AND CONFLICT, A GRIZZLY SOMETIMES GETS TO RELAX.

HE RETRIEVES A MULE DEER HE HAS STASHED IN THE GRASS BY THE LAKE, AND FOR ONCE, HE HAS A CARCASS TO HIMSELF.

WELL, ALMOST.

HE TAKES HIS TIME OVER A DELICATE MORSEL.

IT'S NOT OFTEN HE GETS TO ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE.

AFTER LUNCH, A NAP.

UNTIL BITING FLIES DISCOVER THE GRASS COVERED CARRION HE IS USING FOR A PILLOW.

HE RETREATS TO THE COOL WATERS FOR SOME SWEET RELIEF.

BY THE END OF SUMMER, ALL ACTIVITY IS FOCUSED ON THE COMING WINTER.

GRIZZLIES HEAD UP HIGH FOR THE MOST IMPORTANT HARVEST OF THE YEAR.

THE CLARK'S NUTCRACKER IS UP THERE ALREADY, COLLECTING THE SEEDS OF THE WHITEBARK PINE.

SQUIRRELS ARE ALSO GATHERING THEIR WINTER SEED STORE.

THE BIRD WILL DISPERSE THE SEEDS, BUT THE SQUIRRELS WILL CACHE THEM -- AND THAT'S WHAT THE GRIZZLY IS LOOKING FOR.

THE BEAR DIGS UP THEIR WORK.

THE SEEDS ARE RICH IN FATS, AND THE BEAR PACKS ON AS MANY CALORIES AS SHE CAN.

THESE SEEDS ARE CRUCIAL TO GRIZZLIES, BUT THE CONES DON'T FALL TO THE GROUND.

GRIZZLIES OFTEN RELY ON SOMEONE ELSE TO CLIMB UP AND HARVEST THEM.

BLACK BEARS CAN MAKE IT ALMOST TO THE TOP.

THEY WILL BRING THE BRANCHES AND CONES TO THE GROUND AND IN REACH OF THE GRIZZLY.

THE MIGHTY BEAR MAY BE DOMINANT AMONG THESE MANY CREATURES, BUT SHE IS ALSO DEPENDENT ON ALL THEIR EFFORTS.

[ BEAR GRUNTING ] IN THIS TALE OF TWO PREDATORS, EACH SUCCEEDS ACCORDING TO ITS NATURE.

THIS ENORMOUS MALE IS WAITING ON THE WOLVES.

HE'S STAKED OUT IN THE TERRITORY OF THE MOLLIE'S PACK.

AND HERE THEY COME, RIGHT ON SCHEDULE.

INSTEAD OF STARTING SOME KIND OF FIGHT, THE GRIZZLY TAGS ALONG WITH THE PACK.

THE BEAR IS HUGE.

HE LOOKS TO BE WELL OVER 600 POUNDS, AND THE WOLVES SEEM RESIGNED TO HIS PRESENCE.

THE WOLVES ATTEND TO THEIR TASK.

THEY'RE HERE TO HUNT.

THE BEAR LETS THEM GO. HE'S IN NO HURRY.

BUT AS SOON AS THE WOLVES HAVE ACCOMPLISHED A KILL, HE IS SUDDENLY QUICK ON THE SCENE.

THIS IS THE WAY OF THINGS IN YELLOWSTONE.

A WOLF PACK WORKING TOGETHER IS THE GREATEST PREDATOR THERE IS.

BUT EVEN THE MOLLIES, 14 WOLVES STRONG, KNOW TO STEP ASIDE FOR ONE BIG BEAR.

A GRIZZLY IN HIS PRIME IS THE MASTER HERE.

HE MAKES THE MOST OF OTHERS' SKILLS AND TAKES FROM THEM ALL IN TURN.

THE WOLVES MUST SIMPLY BIDE THEIR TIME AND WAIT FOR HIM TO LEAVE.

OLD SCARFACE IS PAST CHALLENGING A WOLF PACK.

HE'S UP IN THE WHITEBARK PINE FOREST, WHERE IT'S ALREADY STARTING TO SNOW.

WINTER IS CLOSING IN.

THE PINE SEEDS ARE ALL BUT GONE.

SOON THERE'LL BE NOTHING LEFT TO EAT.

SLOWLY, LIMPING NOW WITH AGE AND EFFORT, HE MAKES THE CLIMB UP THE SNOWY SLOPE.

HIS DEN AND A LONG WINTER'S REST ARE WAITING.

BY THE END OF NOVEMBER, THE GRIZZLIES OF YELLOWSTONE HAVE GONE TO BED.

ONCE AGAIN, YELLOWSTONE IS WOLF COUNTRY.

[ WOLVES HOWLING ] AT LEAST, THAT'S HOW THE STORY IS SUPPOSED TO END.

[ RAVEN CROAKING ] BUT HERE, ON CHRISTMAS DAY, FOUR WEEKS LATE FOR HIBERNATION, A GRIZZLY SITS ON A WOLF KILL.

IS THIS THE START OF SOMETHING NEW?

A GRIZZLY... OUT IN WINTER, BREAKING ALL THE RULES.

THE COYOTE GRABS A BITE AND RUNS.

THIS IS NOT GOOD NEWS TO HIM -- WILL THE BEAR BE WAITING AT EVERY KILL, ALL WINTER?

THE BEAR IS WIDE AWAKE AND APPEARS TO ENJOY BEING OUT PAST HIS BEDTIME.

AFTER ALL, IT'S CHRISTMAS, AND HE'S DISCOVERED A SATISFYING SECRET.

ALTHOUGH IT'S WINTER, HE MAY NOT HAVE TO HIDE FROM HUNGER.

WOLVES ARE HUNTING FOR HIM.

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