In northern Minnesota, rare camera footage captured the incredible moment when a beaver narrowly escaped from a wolf’s jaws.
The Voyageurs Wolf Project posted a video on Wednesday, showing at least two wolves attempting to catch a beaver while it was inside its dam.
The lead wolf gets remarkably close to the beaver, and it seems the beaver only noticed the predator at the last moment. Just in time, the beaver quickly darts away and dives into the water below to escape the wolf’s pursuit.
Rare Trail Camera Observation.
The Voyageurs Wolf Project considers the footage to be incredibly fortunate, describing it as amazingly lucky. They emphasize that such observations are extremely rare and uncommon.
The project explains that prior to 2015, there were no recorded observations of wolves hunting beavers. However, in 2015, someone recorded footage of a beaver being hunted and killed by a wolf on a logging road, marking the first recorded instance of such an event.
Since that time, there has been very little additional evidence or recorded instances of this type of hunting behavior among wolves targeting beavers.
The Voyageurs Wolf Project (VWP) notes that it’s astonishing how wolves frequently hunt and kill beavers in various regions of North America, Europe, and Asia, yet very few people have had the opportunity to witness such events. In summary, it is a remarkably common occurrence that is seldom observed.
The research project is attempting to understand the enigma of wolves hunting beavers by relying on indirect evidence from kills and analyzing the movements of GPS collars. However, direct observations, like the one mentioned earlier, provide the most valuable insights for their study.
The VWP expresses their excitement, stating, “Although we have had numerous cameras on beaver dams, we have never captured anything remotely like this before. So you can imagine our excitement when we saw this.” The rarity of the footage and the unique behavior observed have greatly thrilled the researchers.
Analysis of Wolves Hunting a Beaver.
The VWP shared their thoughts about the behavior seen in the video, wondering why the beaver didn’t move until the very last moment.
“The wolf was charging towards the beaver, and surprisingly, the beaver didn’t move until the wolf was extremely close,” they explain.
“It’s possible that the beaver’s poor eyesight played a role, and it couldn’t detect the approaching wolf until it was right there. Alternatively, the dam might have obstructed the beaver’s view, preventing it from seeing the wolf,” they speculated.
Due to the close proximity of the wolf’s mouth to the beaver’s tail, the VWP speculated about the frequency of such encounters between the large rodents and the canines.
The VWP has held the belief that beavers on the downslope of dams are susceptible to wolf attacks because they would have limited time to retreat back over the dam into the pond if they encountered a wolf.
In this particular case, the beaver was fortunate to escape into deep water in a small pond below the dam. However, if there wasn’t a pond, the beaver would have been in danger. Considering wolves’ tendency to travel across beaver dams, it appears that the downslope of dams could be a precarious location for a beaver.
The VWP utilizes trail cameras to unveil many aspects of wild animals’ lives. Recently, their camera traps revealed that wolves engage in fishing much more frequently than researchers had previously realized.