NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia A captive grizzly bear killed a timber wolf in a struggle over a bone in front of about 25 spectators at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, the refuge director says.
The wolf, one of four captive-born grey wolves that were rejected for use in the movie industry, had found a bone in the five-acre enclosure they had shared for a week with two orphaned 4-year-old male grizzlies, said Ken Macquisten, managing director and veterinarian at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.
One of the grizzlies, 650-pound Grinder, tried to take the bone away, and when the wolf resisted, the bear struck him.
"The other wolves tried to chase Grinder off," Macquisten said, "but he bit the fallen wolf in the neck and killed him. The whole thing probably took about 15 seconds."
Macquisten had placed the wolves and bears in the same enclosure 10 days ago, hoping they would provide stimulation for each other. They previously occupied separate but adjacent enclosures.
"One of the biggest challenges of caring for captive bears and wolves is boredom," Macquisten said.
"In the woods, they need their wits to survive. So what provides interest is the presence of another species they can't quite figure out, but are constantly trying to."
He said wolves and European brown bears have been kept successfully in German and Swedish zoos for years.