For once, it's a Yellowstone wolf – not tourist – that regrets its decision to chase elk

Close-up of black wolf
In video captured by a wildlife guide, the wolf is seen giving chase before regretting its decision (Image credit: Getty Images)

Most days, we find ourselves reporting on humans regretting their decision to chase, pet or otherwise get too close to big mammals in places like Yellowstone National Park – take the Wyoming hiker who recently tried to get a moose to pose for photos, for example. Today, however, it's one of Yellowstone's famous wolves that got too close for comfort.

In a video posted to Instagram by wildlife guide Bo Welden, which you can view below, a hungry wolf is seen chasing a solo elk. Though much larger than a wolf, elk make up most of Yellowstone's wolf population's prey in winter months.

However, the fleeing elk is soon seen meeting up with its herd, where it recruits a couple of buddies and in a show of force, the three elk quickly turn the tables on the retreating wolf.

One elk very nearly catches up to the wolf before giving up chase and allowing it to scurry off into the brush with its tail between its legs.

"Have you ever tried to catch and kill your food with your face? Plus your food runs 30+ miles an hour, one stomp from a powerful hoof kills/injures you, and has a fierce motherly instinct! It’s no easy task," writes Welden with the post.

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and as of January this year, the park reports there are 10 packs with at least 124 wolves in total. They largely prey on elk, deer and even bison. Meanwhile, there are an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 elk in the park, so you can't blame the wolf for having a go.

Wolves and elk are just a few of the amazing wildlife viewing opportunities on display at Yellowstone, and while it's worth going there to spot these creatures in the wild, it's important to remember to view them like this guide did – from a safe distance, through a lens like that on your best binoculars.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.