“You’re the only one I’ve loved, that I love now, and I vow to love, in my past, present, and future,” a groom professes to his bride as the bellows of a dying baby moose and a murderous grizzly bear echo across the lake. This demonstration that nature stops for nobody was captured by wedding videographer Stanton Giles earlier this year in Glacier National Park.
The fateful ceremony took place on August 18 on the Two Medicine Lake shore. The National Park Service estimates that nearly 1,000 grizzly and black bears reside in the park. However, the park reportedly only has two non-lethal bear incidents with humans annually, with 10 fatalities since 1967.
“It definitely gives new meaning to the wedding phrase ‘bear witness’,” Giles said in the video below. “Since I became a videographer, I’ve seen some pretty crazy things, and I’ve been to some really cool places. But none of that is as crazy as when I saw a grizzly bear kill a moose during a wedding.” Bear in mind, Giles has previously shot a wedding near the roiling lava of an Icelandic volcano.
According to Giles, the unfortunate moose had probably been chased for a while, as it had been spotted with its mother 10 minutes prior. In another video, the mother moose can be seen swimming away from the grisly grizzly scene.
“The grizzly bear chased the moose off the mountain and down onto the shore of the lake while the groom was reading his vows,” Giles explained. “Why didn’t I capture it on camera you ask? Because I’m a good wedding videographer, and I was filming the groom!”
“Torn between being a National Geographic filmmaker and wedding videographer, I held my camera on the groom until he finished his vows, to which I promptly said: There’s a grizzly bear killing a moose.”
As the stunned wedding party looks on at the two animals violently thrashing, Giles can be seen getting the best camera angle of the carnage while a guest exclaims “yeah get that!”
"That’s why we didn’t go the North shore, ladies and gentlemen,” Giles is heard saying.
Luckily, the wedding was not ruined in the eyes of the groom at least. In a comment, David Atchison says “This was such a wild and incredible experience that even now we are in awe. We chose to elope in the heart of nature at Glacier and knew what we were getting into. Always respect nature and wildlife. We’re thankful everyone is safe, and Stanton was able to capture this or no one would ever believe us!”
“Maybe 20 minutes later we saw a lone hiker walking on a trail only about 75-100 yards above the kill site!”
Hey, at least the bear wasn't on cocaine.