Nature can sometimes be beautiful, and at other times, stunningly cruel. Two Bear Air Rescue in Whitefish, Montana recently captured aerial footage of a wolf pack waiting for an injured bull elk to die after attacking it near Glacier National Park. According to Rich Landers of The Spokesman Review, the elk appeared to have been severely—perhaps even mortally—wounded by the Camas Creek Pack shortly before the footage begins. Resigned to its fate, the bull moves slowly to reserve its strength. Eventually, the elk will grow weak enough to the point where the wolves will be able to bring it down easily, although that is not shown on the video.

What is interesting is that the rescue helicopter turns on its heat-sensing infrared gear to spot the pack of wolves hiding in the forest nearby. The predators appeared to be waiting for the right time to strike. Overall, it’s a neat look into the circle of life—but it’s hard not to feel a pang of sympathy for the doomed bull.

Generally, Two Bear Air Rescue focuses on lost or injured mountaineers instead of recording wildlife footage. Just a few days ago, they saved the life of a man who was severely injured in what rescue workers called a “hoax avalanche.” You can find out what that means here.

Image screenshot of video by Jim Pierce on YouTube

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