Surprise prey

Adam Rice's Image

Adam Rice (USA) makes eye contact with a bear and the wapiti calf in its jaws.

Adam was watching an American black bear quietly feeding on sagebrush roots in Yellowstone National Park, when suddenly it sprang forward and made a grab. When the bear spun around and leapt up a nearby tree, Adam was shocked to see its prize - a wapiti calf.

Though black bears eat mostly plants, they are opportunistic and will consume practically anything. Wapiti, also known as elk, are one of the largest species of red deer and one of the largest land mammals in North America. Their calves usually avoid predators by staying hidden during their first few weeks of life, when they are at their most vulnerable.

Behind the lens

Adam Rice

Adam Rice


Adam is a wildlife photographer and wildlife guide focusing on Alaska and the Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, Adam and his wife Kate started photographing together as a way to enjoy the outdoors. After honeymooning in Yellowstone National Park, they moved west and now spend nearly the entire calendar year photographing wildlife in one location or another.

Image details

  • Sony α9
  • 400mm f2.8 lens
  • 1/1000 sec at f5.6  •   ISO 500
  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

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