In Rare Twist, Mountain Goat Fights Off & Kills Grizzly Bear

Unsplash / Janko Ferlic,

Grizzly bears are known to hunt down mountain goats…but this new twist shows that they might want to rethink that in the future.

Among the millions of acres of Canada’s vast wilderness lies an incredible national park within the Rocky Mountains. Yoho National Park sits just across the US-Canadian border inside the province of British Columbia.

A new report coming out of Yoho National Park details what one Canadian wildlife expert has called a “rare event.”

The report states that a forensic necropsy was performed on a dead grizzly bear that had been found by a hiker who reported it to Parks Canada wildlife officials. The agency had the carcass quickly removed to determine the cause of death and prevent other carnivores from treating it as a food source.

“The necropsy determined that the female grizzly bear died of natural causes, which is due to an unsuccessful predation attempt of a mountain goat,” said David Laskin, a wildlife ecologist – according to AlbertaPrimeTimes.

The report goes on to state that the goat’s super sharp and pointy horns punctured the attacking grizzly bear multiple times through both the neck and underneath the arms.

These wounds are consistent with how a grizzly would attack a mountain goat and the expected defensive response of the goat, according to Laskin.

“When grizzly bears attack, they tend to focus on the head, back of the neck and the shoulders of the prey, and it’s usually from above, so in turn, the defensive response of the mountain goat would be to protect itself using its sharp horns.”

Renowned mountain goat expert, Steeve Côté, acknowledged that in many areas grizzlies are the main predator of these mountain goats. He also recognized the unusual nature of this twist of fate.

“Goats can kill a bear, but this remains a rare event,” he said. “All they need is a good horn jab well placed.”

Mountain goats have been known to excel at climbing rocks and sheer faces of mountains with incredible skill. Often they survive off what vegetation they find and simultaneously dodge predators due to the advanced balance and talent required to reach these areas.

Watch this 2018 video below of a grizzly bear’s encounter with a mountain goat.