You can watch the Nature program Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo tonight on TV or streaming live online as well as on demand. The show airs on PBS at 8 p.m. ET. Check local times and listings for your channel. Viewers who want to live stream PBS can do so with their apps or with your television cable or satellite subscription. You can watch the full episode on YouTube.
Wolves are great enemies towards buffalo, and the show highlights the nature of that tense and often volatile relationship. Before settlements sprung up over the Northern American continent, wolves hunting buffalo was a common occurrence. Now, the majority of this behavior takes place in Wood Buffalo National Park, located in Canada. This episode is the culmination of filmmaker Jeff Turner's 20 years of documentation.
You may see a full photo gallery and wolves and buffalo slideshow from Jeff Turner's film below.
According to Turner, this volatile relationship between wolves as hunters and buffalo as prey has endured for thousands of years. The documentary explores not only the nature of this relationship but also why, when faced with extinction, the animals continue to carry out their battle in Wood Buffalo National Park. The park is enormous and is the largest in Canada. It is more than four times the size of Yellowstone and is home to numerous buffalo herds that roam free on the territory. Jeff Turner uses his skills to showcase the hunt in its raw, vivid, and dramatic form. Turner says that due to an aerial camera, he's been able to track the animals and document wolves from the moment of the first scent to the end of the buffalo hunt. The documentary shows that wolves might chase buffalo for miles in order to catch their prey. Turner has witnessed wolf hunts that extended over 20 miles long.
You may see a photo infographic below that highlights the differences between the wolf as supreme predator and buffalo as prey.
The episode Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo takes place at Wood Buffalo National Park during the winter months. As wolves hunt in packs, the documentary doesn't focus on a single or lone wolf, but rather their behavior as a whole. The wolves track down buffalo as a pack and remain that way, even when making a kill. The documentary focuses on one wolf pack consisting of eight wolves. The pack, like other pack animals, is led by an alpha male. The wolf pack truly is a family unit and consists of various members led by the alpha male. In the documentary Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo, you'll see more than just a wolf hunt, but how a pack works in unison in order for their survival. For the younger wolves to have a chance at a long life, they have to learn how to hunt buffalo successfully. The wolf pack aims to kill approximately one buffalo per week.
At first, it appears the buffalo holds the advantage over the wolf. Buffalo are 20 times larger than wolves, but this actually hurts their chance of survival. Wolves are highly intelligent and work together in order to take down a buffalo. As the wolves utilize strategies to gain an advantage, the buffalo also respond with tactics of their own. Where wolves want to attack buffalo from behind, the buffalo attempt to cause the wolves to disperse, therefore lessening the attack's severity. It's also interesting and fascinating to see the strategies the alpha male implements in order to win a buffalo prize for the pack. While the winter wolf hunt brings challenges, spring and summer have challenges of their own.
Are you going to watch Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo on TV, streaming online, or the full episode on demand?
[Featured Image by Holly Kuchera/Shutterstock]