"Wolves take down polar bear near Hudson Bay"

Discuss wolves (news, sightings, etc.).

Moderators: Isela, Koa

Post Reply
User avatar
SolitaryHowl
Skilled Hunter
Skilled Hunter
Posts: 6264
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:13 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Canada

"Wolves take down polar bear near Hudson Bay"

Post by SolitaryHowl » Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:54 am

A Manitoba Conservation official has found evidence that wolves near Hudson Bay have learned to hunt polar bear cubs.
Polar bears are generally considered the top of the Arctic food chain, but a pack of wolves apparently distracted a mother bear long enough to take her cub in the Kaskatamagan Wildlife Management Area in northeastern Manitoba, said Daryll Hedman, the wildlife manager for the province's northeast region.

"This is the first strong indirect evidence I've ever seen of wolves preying on a polar bear cub. They probably killed the cub and dragged it away. There were, perhaps, three or four [separate] wolf tracks," Hedman said in a telephone interview.
"This doesn't happen often. It still seems to be a very rare event."

Hedman, who has been conducting polar bear maternity den emergence surveys in the region by helicopter for four years, has heard of such encounters before, but he saw evidence of such an attack for the first time in March.

"We've had reports of wolves predating on polar bears [the cubs] in the past by lodges and First Nations, mostly when the polar bears are coming off the ice onto land at the end of July," said Hedman, who is based in Thompson, Man.

"In our most recent report, a First Nations trapper reported to me what looked like a polar bear-wolf encounter" in the wildlife management area east of York Factory on the Hayes River, which runs along the Hudson Bay shoreline to the Ontario border.

"He said a single adult polar bear track was leaving the den site. About five days later, we were doing our survey by helicopter. We landed [at that site] and there was definitely evidence of polar bear and wolf tracks."

A single polar bear track led away from the site where the encounter was reported to have taken place, Hedman said.
"There was also a single cub track leading up to the wolf encounter, and after that, only the single track of a female polar bear going out to the ice of western Hudson Bay," he said.

The polar bear cub was probably four or five months old, Hedman said.
"I've had reports from people who have actually seen this sort of thing before," he said.
"What will happen is the female polar bear can't react quickly enough when the wolves are in a pack. Some of the wolves are getting her attention and the others go for the cub."

Other scientists and researchers have also seen evidence of wolves hunting polar bear cubs.
"In 1983, the late Malcolm Ramsay and I found evidence of a pack of wolves in the Churchill denning area that had learned to kill polar bear cubs when they were on their way to the sea ice from their maternity dens," polar bear specialist Ian Stirling wrote in his book Polar Bears: The Natural History of a Threatened Species.

"Tracks in the snow revealed that some wolves would worry and distract the mother while another seized a cub and apparently escaped with it. The cubs were completely devoured. In more recent years, wolf numbers appear to have increased since the area became a national park."
In most areas, the distributions of polar bears and wolves do not overlap very much, Stirling wrote.
"However, where they do, some wolves are learning to become successful predators of polar bear cubs, though it is probably not a common behaviour."

Hedman also emphasized that this is a rare occurrence.

"It happened right on the tidal flats of Hudson Bay," he said, noting the area contains a pretty healthy population of moose, the main prey species for wolves along the Hudson Bay coast in Kaskatamagan.

"Where the polar bears den, there are no wolves, but once they leave the dens and get closer to the coast, they might encounter wolves."
Source: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/wolves-down-p ... 57732.html

Interesting, no?
Former WolfQuest Moderator. 2009 - 2011

Avatar is copyright Koa

User avatar
Kamaal
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 1080
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:08 am
Name: Kam
Gender: Female
Location: Wanna take a guess?

Re: "Wolves take down polar bear near Hudson Bay"

Post by Kamaal » Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:04 am

Really interesting article Solitary! Thanks for posting it here, I really wasn't aware that wolves hunt polar bear cubs. I knew that they sometimes might try that, but I had no clue that they could succeed.
I ran out of snarky remarks, unfortunately.
Avatar © LupinzPack

User avatar
Jeames
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 4153
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:43 am
Name: Jeames, Jea
Gender: Other
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: "Wolves take down polar bear near Hudson Bay"

Post by Jeames » Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:34 am

Oh wow, very risky to hunt a polar bear cub! Momma bear be mad!
But it's cool to see they succeeded. Poor polar bear cub, but hey, this is nature.
. - Jeames - .

For the last time,
I am a STICK okay?!?!
Oh and I own Paradiigm.
Now I must go annoy Dom.
sig/av ↝ Paradiigm/noir_187

User avatar
Airamyst
Hunter-in-training
Hunter-in-training
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:18 pm
Gender: Other
Location: Pfft heck if I know -3-

Re: "Wolves take down polar bear near Hudson Bay"

Post by Airamyst » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:40 am

Oh wow. o.o
That's really sad about the bear cub and I'm sure the mother will get very upset with the wolves, but in all honesty that's a smart idea on their part.

ʙʀɪɴɢ ʙ

''You either run from things, or you face them, Mr. White.''
''And what exactly does that mean?''
''I learned it in rehab. It's all about accepting who you really are. I accept who I am.''
"And who are you?"
ϟ "I'm the bad guy." ϟ
- Jesse and Walter
Av/Sig © Jeames/Lupa

User avatar
Nor-easter Forecast
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:16 am
Gender: Female
Location: Southwestern USA

Re: "Wolves take down polar bear near Hudson Bay"

Post by Nor-easter Forecast » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:04 am

Wow, that's amazing! It shows a great deal of teamwork and ingenuity on the part of the wolves. I do feel bad for the polar bears though––their species is in much more trouble than wolves are. Ahh, such is nature. Thanks for sharing Solitary!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
ˢ ʳ ˢ
ˢ ʳʸʰ ˢ ʰ
ˣ ˢ ʰˢ,
ʰ ʳʸʰ
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

av/sig/quote © coyoteflu/LupinzPack/patty griffin

User avatar
Koa
WolfQuest Moderator
WolfQuest Moderator
Posts: 12939
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:53 pm
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: "Wolves take down polar bear near Hudson Bay"

Post by Koa » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:59 pm

Wolf (Canis lupus) Predation of a Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Cub on the Sea Ice off Northwestern Banks Island, Northwest Territories, Canada

It does certainly happen, and as I mentioned in my response to a Q&A topic, I would assume the converse (polar bears preying on wolves) is equally true. Thanks for sharing this.
YOU SAY YOU WANT TO GET BETTER AND YOU DON'T KNOW HOW.

User avatar
roguemoon
Yearling
Yearling
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:40 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Canada

Re: "Wolves take down polar bear near Hudson Bay"

Post by roguemoon » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:53 pm

Wolves do occasionally go after grizzly cubs (eliminate the future threat while it's still small and whatnot) so it would make sense they would behave the same way with polar bears, and not consuming it would just be throwing away a meal. It is sad for the mother though, and like Lobo Laughing said it is a shame to lose the cub since polar bears are more endangered.

Still, impressive on the wolves part. Especially since they seemed to be a smaller pack, it's a clever move. I actually never thought wolves and polar bears would ever interact, so this is very interesting. Thank's for sharing, Solitary!
"No matter where they are, the restless imagine being somewhere else."
Avatar credit to Lupinz

User avatar
starstablefan_246
Hunter-in-training
Hunter-in-training
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:33 pm
Name: Star
Gender: Female
Location: Somewhere in this insane world of ours...

Re: "Wolves take down polar bear near Hudson Bay"

Post by starstablefan_246 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:10 pm

I never thought about polar bear cubs. Wow, the wolves are pretty clever and strong to take a polar bear cub down, with big the adult polar bears around!! Therefore, another example of what wolves can attack and take down. :)
=) Everyone is on top of the world, since there is no bottom of the world =)

Post Reply

Return to “General Wolf Discussion”