These awesome photos captured by Alex Wypyszinski have been floating around the internet for a few years, but Billings news station KTVQ in Billings managed to track the photographer down and get the backstory behind the amazing shots.
Alex Wypyszinski had just dropped off his wife at work and had a few hours to kill one morning last April.Wypyszinski says he likes to spend his free time in the morning snapping photos of wildlife in the park.Of course, he usually has to search the animals out.
It all started when he was driving in the Fountain Flats area, located between the Madison Junction and Old Faithful, when he heard an unusual sound. But Wypyszinski says any noise is unusual on that particular highway at 7am.”I thought it was a horse and carriage,” said Wypyszinski. “That was the kind of noise that I heard.”
By the time he turned around, the two fuzzy brown images were racing quickly toward him.Wypyszinski pulled out his camera quickly, thinking he was going to catch two moose racing down the highway. He quickly learned he was mistaken. “I thought I was having a hallucination or something,” said Wypyszinski. “I couldn’t believe what that buffalo looked like.”
It was a bison, badly burned from an encounter with one of the numerous hot spots in Yellowstone National Park. The sight of such an injured bison alone is rare, but what Wypyszinski saw next was once in a lifetime. “Never, ever, ever,” said Wypyszinski. “I’ve seen plenty of bear, and more buffalo. But I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
A grizzly was chasing the buffalo (which was practically cooked already) and gaining quickly. Wypyszinski stopped his car on the desolate highway and took out his camera. “I stood along the car as long as I thought it was safe.”The two beasts passed the man by without paying any notice. The result: these hair-raising pictures.We pick our tale up where the photos end.
Wypiszinski says once in the safety of the woods the bison out maneuvered the grizzly, escaping to live exactly one more day. Park rangers had to put the bison down due to the injuries it sustained. Wypiszinski said the whole event was over just as quickly as it happened.
Just another day in Yellowstone National Park.