A rare opportunity presented itself to professional photographer Christopher Martin after he spotted an elk walking back and forth on a rail bridge in Banff National Park. The photographer immediately pulled his car over and grabbed his trusty camera in an attempt to photograph the animal. Just as he was able to focus the camera on the subject, he witnessed a wolf suddenly appear and bite the neck of the large animal.

“As I pulled out the camera and the lens, I could see a wolf head appear and grab on — bite the neck — so then, I knew something amazing was going on,” he told CBC News. “I got out of the car and hiked up a hill on the one side right where the railway overpass bridge is, so I could get level with the bridge deck and obviously see much better.”

Once the photographer found himself in a better position, he then had a clear view of the attack and the methods the predators were using to corner and eventually kill the elk.

“They were alternating between hemming the elk onto the bridge, to keep it on the bridge … and then they would alternate in attack,” he said.

“So, one or two would attack from the back and then the other one would bite on the neck, or vice versa.”

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After the wolf pack was able to take the elk to the ground for a third time, the elk was no longer able to get back on its feet. After the struggle the wolves then moved into enjoy their recent kill, feasting on the carcass of the elk. A short time later, Parks Canada employees moved in to safely remove the carcass from the area in an attempt to minimize the risk of the wolves being hit by an on-coming train.

To learn more about Martin’s first hand encounter with the elk and wolf pack, visit his website.

H/T: CBC News
Photo:  Christopher Martin Photography