Nineteen elk were killed by wolves earlier this week in what’s being called a “surplus kill,” according to Wyoming wildlife officials.

Wolves killed seventeen elk calves and two adult cows near Bondurant, Wyo., County 10 reported.

It’s not unusual for wolves to kill one or two elk a night, but to have 19 killed in one night “is fairly rare,” John Lund of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department told County 10.

"A lot of people call it surplus killing," Lund told the outlet. "It has been observed on other occasions, just not very often."

A surplus killing is when an animal kills more of its prey than it can eat and then abandons the surplus.

For the most part, wolves do not “kill for sport,” Mike Jimenez, the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told County 10.

"We did an eight-year study, and we looked at elk feed grounds. What we found is that generally wolves did not kill what they did not eat,” he told the outlet.

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