Grizzly bears are some of the most formidable predators on the planet—capable of chasing down deer, elk, and even moose from time to time. But they’re no stranger to an easy meal when they can get it. Instagram user Shea Hillis documented this fact of nature first hand earlier today when she shared a short video clip of an opportunistic grizzly dragging a road-killed deer across a highway somewhere in the mountains near the community of Rossland. Watch it for yourself below.
It’s unclear what highway Hillis was traveling along when she snapped the rare clip, but a location tag on the post indicates that it was filmed in the far southern reaches of B.C., near the province’s border with Washington State. That area, known as the Kootenay Region, is home to good habitat with modest grizzly bear population densities, according a 2018 study conducted by the Canadian government.
Hillis’s post was recently shared by the popular Instagram account Nature is Metal, where it went on to accumulate more than 10,000 views in the first hour it was on the page. “Spotting a deer, presumably a casualty of human intervention (vehicle strike), this brown bear didn’t hesitate to get in the ditch and seize the moment,” reads the @natureismetal post. “With strength that puts the best of humanity’s gym-goers to shame, he scoops up the deer and whisks it across the road, transforming a tragic loss into a life-giving meal.”
In the video, the grizzly starts out down in a roadside ditch. As the car approaches, the bear hauls the dead deer onto the shoulder then side steps it’s way to the opposite side of the road before disappearing down a heavily-forested slope with its prize. Both Hillis and a passenger gawk in disbelief.
“Interior grizzlies”, like the one featured in this video, feed primarily on ripening fruits and native vegetation this time of year as they follow the green-up into high-elevation terrain, the B.C. government reports in a PDF about grizzlies posted to its website. Important summertime food sources include cow-parsnip, soapberries, huckleberries, and blueberries. The bears are more likely to prey on live ungulates during the spring calving season.