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Yellowstone bear ferociously guards kill as tourists watch

For The Win logo For The Win 9/23/2020 Pete Thomas
a bear that is sitting on a rock © Provided by For The Win

A grizzly bear that killed a bull elk in a Yellowstone National Park river battle last Friday has become a major tourist attraction.

That’s because the male grizzly has partially buried the elk on the bank of the Yellowstone River, across from a paved road, and is taking his time consuming the carcass.

“Wolves tried to come in yesterday, but this bear won’t even allow ravens to share, which is unusual,” Deby Dixon of Deby’s Wild World Photography, told For The Win Outdoors.

a group of people standing on the side of a road © Provided by For The Win

“This bear is methodical and does not appear to be concerned about anything taking away his food. Most bears stuff themselves in a hurry, for fear of losing it to another.”

RELATED: Yellowstone tourists on motorcycles caught harassing bison (video)

Dixon on Tuesday captured a remarkable image showing the bear in a ferocious defensive posture alongside the half-buried elk. (See full image below.)

“I don’t want to run into this guy in the forest!” Dixon wrote on Facebook.

(Graphic video showing the bear attacking the elk can be viewed  here.)

Grizzly bears do not typically attack full-grown elk, but this elk appeared to have previously suffered a broken leg, which made the animal vulnerable.

a brown bear standing next to a body of water © Provided by For The Win

“A healthy elk would have gotten across the water before the bear even got to the river,” said Dixon, who specializes in Yellowstone wildlife photography.

After drowning the elk, the bear carved a large section of bank and covered most of the carcass to keep it fresh and prevent its scent from attracting predators.

News of this incredible display spread across social media and wildlife enthusiasts are driving into the park daily to witness the feeding event. (The grizzly bear is known to the park, cataloged as 791.)

Dixon said park staff is doing a good job of keeping tourists from blocking the road, but people are parking farther away and walking back to watch or photograph the bear.

A park spokeswoman told For The Win Outdoors that rangers may not always be present and that tourists “have a responsibility to behave in a way that doesn’t put people, or the bear, at risk.”

–Images courtesy of Deby Dixon/Deby’s Wild World

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