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Cold Day for a Swim

An Elk in Yellowstone National Park stands waist-deep in the frigid temperatures of a slushy river (as you can see by the floating chunks of ice passing him by). But why would he do this? The answer in this case is very simple, to escape the wolves that are waiting on the banks of the river, and who have presumably chased him into the frigid waters. There have been a number of Elk die in situations similar to this in Yellowstone National Park. They stay in here because they are safe from the wolves, who won’t enter the cold waters, because they will freeze and die, the Elk go into the water hoping that the wolves go away, and give up, before the Elk die of freezing temperatures. This image really is a true nature story image, because if it weren’t for the wolves, there is no way that the Elk would decide to enter the water.

 

You can see from the fur on it’s back that it’s already starting to freeze, and he had been there so long that the light dusting of snow that was falling at the time was actually starting to accumulate on the snout and antlers of the Elk. I didn’t stick it out to see who won this battle (because I got too cold, and wasn’t even standing waist deep in water – just snow!).

 

If you are ever driving through Yellowstone in the winter and see an Elk standing in freezing water, look more closely because you might end up seeing wolves laying down nearby waiting for their chance to strike when the Elk leaves the water, and get their next meal.

 

If you are interested in purchasing this image, or any other images on my site, contact Terri Shaddick at contact@wildelements.ca.

 

Taken: December 28, 2014
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Lens: Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4x III Extender
Focal Length: 700mm
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/500

About this Image

An Elk in Yellowstone National Park stands waist-deep in the frigid temperatures of a slushy river (as you can see by the floating chunks of ice passing him by). But why would he do this? The answer in this case is very simple, to escape the wolves that are waiting on the banks of the river, and who have presumably chased him into the frigid waters. There have been a number of Elk die in situations similar to this in Yellowstone National Park. They stay in here because they are safe from the wolves, who won’t enter the cold waters, because they will freeze and die, the Elk go into the water hoping that the wolves go away, and give up, before the Elk die of freezing temperatures. This image really is a true nature story image, because if it weren’t for the wolves, there is no way that the Elk would decide to enter the water.

 

You can see from the fur on it’s back that it’s already starting to freeze, and he had been there so long that the light dusting of snow that was falling at the time was actually starting to accumulate on the snout and antlers of the Elk. I didn’t stick it out to see who won this battle (because I got too cold, and wasn’t even standing waist deep in water – just snow!).

 

If you are ever driving through Yellowstone in the winter and see an Elk standing in freezing water, look more closely because you might end up seeing wolves laying down nearby waiting for their chance to strike when the Elk leaves the water, and get their next meal.

 

If you are interested in purchasing this image, or any other images on my site, contact Terri Shaddick at contact@wildelements.ca.

 

Taken: December 28, 2014
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Camera Specs

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Lens: Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4x III Extender
Focal Length: 700mm
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/500