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Bears as Predators ~

India brotherbear Offline
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#31
( This post was last modified: 01-16-2016, 04:13 PM by brotherbear )

Yellowstone Bears in the Wild by James C. Halfpenny.


On June 26, 2002, Yellowstone naturalist Nathan Varley along with Bob Landis and Joel Sartore, National Geographic videographer and photographer respectively, watched a female grizzly with two COY approach a lone bison and her calf. The calf appeared to be seven to eight weeks old.
The grizzly stared intently at the bison and her calf. The bear and her cubs ambled into some sagebrush where the bear suddenly picked up speed and headed down the slope to intersect the walking bison. The bison sped up but the bear cut them off.
Initially the mother bison was between her calf and the bear. When the bison turned to confront the grizzly, the bear went around her. The animals disappeared in a swale, and then the bear came out of the swale with the bison calf in its mouth and the mother bison in swift pursuit. The bear stopped to defend her catch. The mother bison circled and sort of bluff chraged, but she was not really trying to gore or trample the bear. Finally the bison started to eat grass about 20 yards away; this was obviously displacement behavior at not being able to get the grizzly to leave.
The bear fed on the calf for 15 minutes and the mother bison left. Then the bear covered the carcass with grass and sage. She found her cubs and togeter they disappeared into the woods. At dusk the entire family came to the carcass and fed.
 Grizzly  - Boss of the Woods.
        
  
             
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United States Polar Offline
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#32

(01-16-2016, 04:12 PM)brotherbear Wrote: Yellowstone Bears in the Wild by James C. Halfpenny.  


On June 26, 2002, Yellowstone naturalist Nathan Varley along with Bob Landis and Joel Sartore, National Geographic videographer and photographer respectively, watched a female grizzly with two COY approach a lone bison and her calf. The calf appeared to be seven to eight weeks old.
The grizzly stared intently at the bison and her calf. The bear and her cubs ambled into some sagebrush where the bear suddenly picked up speed  and headed down the slope to intersect the walking bison. The bison sped up but the bear cut them off.
Initially the mother bison was between her calf and the bear. When the bison turned to confront the grizzly, the bear went around her. The animals disappeared in a swale, and then the bear came out of the swale with the bison calf in its mouth and the mother bison in swift pursuit. The bear stopped to defend her catch. The mother bison circled and sort of bluff chraged, but she was not really trying to gore or trample the bear. Finally the bison started to eat grass about 20 yards away; this was obviously displacement behavior at not being able to get the grizzly to leave.
The bear fed on the calf for 15 minutes and the mother bison left. Then the bear covered the carcass with grass and sage. She found her cubs and togeter they disappeared into the woods. At dusk the entire family came to the carcass and fed.

That mother brown bear was so brave! I heard of numerous accounts of female brownies killing adult bull bison, though I don't think that is the case. Can you confirm any of these accounts, brotherbear?
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India brotherbear Offline
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#33
( This post was last modified: 01-16-2016, 09:38 PM by brotherbear )

These accounts are from good sources. In fact, the mother grizzly which killed the calf and stood her ground against the mother bison I watched on a documentary recently. As for killing bull bison, not that I know of although there are tales told from the early 19th century of large ( probably big males ) killing full-grown bison. How much can be believed is anyones guess. Personally, because of the large numbers of both bison and grizzly living prior to the California gold rush, the invention of the repeater rifle, and the end of the Civil War, I believe that grizzlies fed heavily on both living bison hunted and killed and found carcasses.   
 Grizzly  - Boss of the Woods.
        
  
             
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United States Polar Offline
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#34

How anout accounts of them killing a mature male bull bison? Are there any?
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India brotherbear Offline
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#35
( This post was last modified: 01-16-2016, 10:26 PM by brotherbear )

(01-16-2016, 09:37 PM)Polar Wrote: How anout accounts of them killing a mature male bull bison? Are there any?

Sorry about the quick edit. Answered above your question. Until the killing of a mature bull bison by a grizzly is witnessed and caught on camera, we can only guess and believe what we will.    
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India brotherbear Offline
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#36
( This post was last modified: 01-16-2016, 10:42 PM by brotherbear )

My personal reasons for believing in the grizzly's predation on bison including the rare occasional killing of mature animals are as follows. During the time of bear vs bull fights in Old Mexico, it was recorded that the grizzly defeated the bull in most of those bloody spectacles regardless of the fact that the bull ran freely while the bear was tethered. These accounts were not biased as it was the bull that the majority favored. Also, according to early settlers, grizzlies commonly preyed upon the feral range cattle. In fights with feral bulls, the grizzly usually came out on top. Again, the bear was not loved by farmers and ranchers. Also, in ancient Rome, bear vs bull fights were popular and the bear usually killed the bull.
But my greatest reason for believing is the fact that on the American prairie there were roughly 1,000 bison for every grizzly. That is surly a huge amount of wild beef for a bear to ignore. In today's time predation on bison by bears is likely very rare but probably happens. 
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India brotherbear Offline
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#37
( This post was last modified: 01-16-2016, 11:25 PM by brotherbear )

Yellowstone Bears in the Wild by James C. Halfpenny.


While some female grizzlies are very adapt at predation, most predation probably is done by males. The reasons may be two-fold. A risk of injury is always associated with predation, especially on large animals such as moose and bison. For a female bear, an injury might signal the end of her ability to care for her young.
Another reason, according to Dave Mattson, is that different life strategies for males and females may influence the need for active predation. Reproductive success of a female is dependent on sufficient reserves of adipose fat, whereas males need muscle to gain competitive advantage in a breeding system often characterized by violent confrontations with other males and even with females. Since a high-protein diet promotes muscle growth, greater consumption of protein by males would be expected.
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India brotherbear Offline
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#38
( This post was last modified: 01-16-2016, 11:49 PM by brotherbear )

Yellowstone Bears in the Wild by James C. Halfpenny.


Scavenging is safer than predation, and with their great ability to smell, bears are very adept at locating carcasses. Mattson estimates that 57% of elk, 54% of moose, and 96% of bison meat consumed by bears comes from scavenging. Most of the scavenged meat is adult bison, elk less than 24 months of age, and adult elk. Interestingly, scavenging provides grizzlies with essentially the same amount of meat as they obtain by predation.
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India brotherbear Offline
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#39
( This post was last modified: 01-17-2016, 02:21 AM by brotherbear )

Bear Almanac by Gary Brown.

Bison - The American Buffalo ( or bison ) shares much of its range with grizzly bears, but there is minimal conflict between them. A grizzly bear normally does not attack an adult bison, for it may be the loser.

Though bears would prefer the easier prey, for success and to prevent injury, a grizzly bear sow, with two cubs, in Yellowstone National Park was observed attacking and killing an adult bison.
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United States Polar Offline
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#40

I don't know about ancient and or historical accounts (and think most of them are faked, edited, or replicated in other ways), but from what I read, sometimes the bull won and sometimes the bear at other times. I am not sure about a "usual" victor. Between a bear and a big cat (Barbary/African/Asian lion subspecies, Bengal/Caspian tiger subspecies, and large leopards), I'd agree that the bear would've been the usual victor, even at weights lower than the cat's weight.
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India brotherbear Offline
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#41
( This post was last modified: 01-17-2016, 05:10 PM by brotherbear )

The fights in Old Mexico were often recorded as were the fights in ancient Rome. I could post of some such events but that would be up to Sanjay and a few others here to decide on ( bear vs bull ). But the grizzly nearly always defeated the bull. That's not just an opinion.  
 Grizzly  - Boss of the Woods.
        
  
             
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India brotherbear Offline
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#42
( This post was last modified: 01-17-2016, 10:38 AM by brotherbear )

Man Meets Grizzly by Young and Beyers.
Old plainsmen and trappers often debate which was more powerful, the buffalo or the grizzly bear. Both were fearless titans. There are more accounts of grizzlies killing buffalo - perhaps the expected outcome, in view of the weapons and tactics employed by both animals. This story, then, should be of special interest. It concerns a bull buffalo that stood his ground against the most feared animal of the plains and mountains. The fight was fair; there was no one to interfere. The bear was the aggressor, for he was trespassing on the home ground of the buffalo.
Both animals entered the contest determined to win and gave no quarter. The fortunate witnesses were thrilled by the mighty combat, yet the white hunter, though stirred, would have shot the victor. But the Indian, in admiration, acclaimed the buffalo and turned aside the hunter's rifle. I would entitle this story "Big Brave."

Upon reaching the crest of the ridge they had a full view of the buffalo, which proved to be a bull of the largest size, in full flesh and vigor. Their attention was at once attracted to the curious conduct of the magnificent animal. His head was turned partially from them, looking toward the ravine on the opposite side. He was emitting the low bellowing roar peculiar to the buffalo when excited, throwing up dirt and raising his tail as they do when enraged. The hunters thought he was challenging another buffalo, and waited to see the result. In a few moments they saw an enormous grizzly bear moving slowly up to the knoll where the buffalo awaited his coming.

The bear approached cautiously, stopping every few yards to observe his antagonist, whose excitement and rage seemed to increase and whose continuous muffled roar drowned all the other sounds.  

Finally, when the bear had arrived within a few rods of his noble enemy, on the narrow bench of nearly level ground, the buffalo brought matters to a crisis by lowering his gigantic head and charging with all his strength. The bear immediately raised himself on his hind legs, and skillfully avoided the buffalo's horns, caught him around the head with his left arm, seizing him at the same time by the back of his neck with his powerful jaws. Then came a grand exhibition of strength, the buffalo using all his tremendous power to get his horns under the bear and free himself from the close embrace of his adversary, while the latter, clinging with his teeth and one arm, used the other in an attempt to cripple the buffalo by the most terrific blows on his left shoulder and side. In this tremendous struggle, they turned in a circle several times, until finally the buffalo accomplished his objective and threw the bear from him.

For a few moments they remained gazing at one another, evidently recovering their breath, somewhat exhausted by their previous efforts. The buffalo was bleeding from several wounds in the neck, and the bear from wounds on his side. They both exhibited the extreme of savage anger, the buffalo bellowing, tearing the earth, and shaking his great shaggy head, while the bear returned his challenge by continuous roars, showing his great teeth and swinging his massive head from side to side. The buffalo brought the truce to a close by a rapid charge, which the bear eluded, striking his adversary a tremendous blow as he passed, which again brought blood. The buffalo turned with the rapidity peculiar to the animal, and repeated the charge several times, without effecting his object. At last they closed in the final struggle, the bear clinging to the buffalo's head and shoulders, while the latter maneuvered to get his horns under his formidable antagonist. Round and round they went, tearing up rocks and bushes, until the buffalo succeeded in his efforts, forced the bear over the edge of the little plateau, and, in the impetuosity of his charge, fell on the bear with all his enormous weight, and turned a complete somersault down the steep decline.
For an instant both lay still, but the buffalo soon recovered himself, and staggered slowly to his feet, again faced his antagonist with undiminished resolution. The bear, however, lay quiet, breathing heavily and evidently "hors de combat."

After waiting a few moments for a renewal of the attack the buffalo slowly approached his fallen enemy, and applying his great strength, rolled him over. Finding him dead, he slowly ascended to the scene of the battle and proclaimed his victory by triumphant bellowing.

The white hunter raised his rifle to shoot him, but the Indian sprang forward and put his hand on the rifle, and turning it away said, "No shoot! Big brave!" and allowed the victor to march slowly away to seek his comrades.
 Grizzly  - Boss of the Woods.
        
  
             
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India brotherbear Offline
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#43
( This post was last modified: 01-17-2016, 08:11 PM by brotherbear )

The Beast That Walks Like Man by Harold McCracken.
Theodore Roosevelt, from his vast store of knowledge of our western game, had the following to say regarding the grizzly: "In the old days ... he wandered at will over the Plains ... roving hither and thither in burly self-confidence ... searching for roots, digging up gophers, or perhaps following the great buffalo herds to prey on some unwary straggler which he was able to catch at a disadvantage in a washout ... Old hunters, survivors of the long-vanished ages when the vast herds thronged the high plains and were followed by the wild Indian tribes, and by bands of whites who were scarcely less savage, have told me that they often met ( grizzly ) bears under such circumstances ... Later in the same account Roosevelt remarks: "The bison was the most easily approached of all game, and the great bear could often get near some outlying straggler, in its quest after stray cows, yearlings, or calves. In default of a favorable chance to make a prey of one of these weaker members of the herd, it did not hesitate to attack the mighty bulls themselves; and perhaps the grandest sight which it was ever the good fortune of the early hunters to witness was one of these rare battles between a hungry grisly and a powerful buffalo bull."
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India brotherbear Offline
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#44

Quote from post #42: Man Meets Grizzly by Young and Beyers. 

Old plainsmen and trappers often debate which was more powerful, the buffalo or the grizzly bear. Both were fearless titans. There are more accounts of grizzlies killing buffalo - perhaps the expected outcome, in view of the weapons and tactics employed by both animals.  

 
Well, while I agree with the recorded events of domestic bull vs grizzly where those biased against the bear claimed that the bear most often defeated the bull, regardless of such statements regarding the bull bison and grizzly, I would give the domestic bull ( any breed ) less than a 50% chance of defeating a big male grizzly and the bull bison or yak at least a good 50% chance. This also for the barren ground grizzly and musk ox.    
 Grizzly  - Boss of the Woods.
        
  
             
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India brotherbear Offline
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( This post was last modified: 01-18-2016, 05:09 AM by brotherbear )

The Great Bear Almanac by Gary Brown.
The American buffalo ( bison ) shares much of its range with grizzly bears, but there is minimal conflict between them. A grizzly bear normally does not attack a bison, for it may be the loser. "The bear had two holes in it... all the bear's ribs on one side were broken," relates George Laycock in The Wild Bears, describing a dead grizzly bear, "...the buffalo came up winners."
"Upon examination it was found that both sides of the grizzly bear were badly battered and bruised to a bloody mass and the left side of the animal was punctured between the ribs by a hole one and a half inches in diameter," described Joe Way in Paul Schullery's Yellowstone Bear Tales. "The immediate area around the carcass was well torn up giving evidence of a severe struggle between the bear and some other beast. There were many large buffalo tracks which had cut up the ground in an arc around the carcass and there were several patches of buffalo hair."
"A veteran hunter in Dakota once watched a huge male grizzly attack a small herd of buffalo cows protected by five or six bulls," related Wayne Gard in The Great Buffalo Hunt. "As the bear approached, the bulls closed ranks and lowered their horns. When the bulls charged, the bear struck one of them so hard with his paws that he broke the back of the bull, killing him instantly. But the other bulls used their horns so effectively that soon the bear crawled off with mortal wounds."
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