"The two shared a glance that made time stand still" – watch tiny wolf pup bravely come face to face with bull elk

 Touching scene of Gray Wolf mother with newborn pup.
Touching scene of Gray Wolf mother with newborn pup.

Wolf pup season has arrived and Yellowstone National Park's newest residents are getting to know some of their mightiest neighbors. In a video shared by Yellowstone Wolf Tracker, a tiny wolf pup can be viewed emerging from its den to discover a massive bull elk standing just a few feet away.

The clip, which you can watch below, was posted on Instagram by Yellowstone Wolf Tracker, a company which offers guided wolf and wildlife watching tours. It shows the black pocket-sized pup "bravely" stepping out from its den and then coming to a standstill as it catches sight of the elk, which stops grazing and turns to stare at the wolf.

"At just a month old, this was likely the first time the young wolf had ever seen an animal of this size," writes YWT in the post.

"The two shared a quick glance that seemed to make time stand still."

Fortunately, after about three seconds, the elk realized the wolf poses no threat and resumes feeding.

"This moment, although short lived, made us onlookers ponder questions regarding what the future might hold for the young wolf. Would this encounter potentially shape the wolf into a fearless hunter? Are we possibly seeing the makings of a future pack leader? Only time will tell!"

Wolf safety

Though wolves tend to give humans a wide berth, like all wildlife, it's important to be extra cautious if you are hiking or recreating in wolf country during birthing season, which YWT explains is around mid to late April in Yellowstone. at this time of year, all animals are very protective of their young and may act aggressively out of defense.

Since there are so few wolves in the wild and at most you'll find one wolf pack over an area of more than a thousand square miles, your chances of encountering one in the wild are honestly minute. In the very unlikely event that you do meet a wolf in the wild, it's important that you don't run, as this can trigger their instinct to chase. You should secure your dog, make yourself appear big and make noise by blowing your whistle, shouting or bashing your trekking poles together to try to scare it off. Learn more in our article on what to do if you encounter a wolf on the trail.