Grizzly bears are known as one of the most ferocious predators in the forest; few can stand against them.
Except for a rare circumstance in Yoho National Park, where a mountain goat took one on — and won.
According to Parks Canada, a forensic necropsy of a female grizzly bear determined that it died of wounds inflicted by the mountain goat.
David Laskin, wildlife ecologist with Parks Canada, said the bear was found with puncture wounds at the bottom of the neck and armpits, consistent with a mountain goat’s horns.
“[It] was the result of an unsuccessful predation attempt on a mountain goat. And I guess the mountain goat was successful in the circumstance. And it ultimately turned the tables on this bear,” he said on CBC’s Radio West.
He added that it was consistent with the predatory attack behaviour of grizzly bears and the defensive response of mountain goats.
“When grizzlies attack, they tend to focus on the head in the back of the neck and the shoulders of their prey. And this is usually from above. So in turn, the defensive response of the mountain goat would be to protect itself using its sharp points,” Laskin said.
The remains of the grizzly bear were found on Sept. 4 by a hiker on Burgess Path, near Golden, B.C. According to Laskin, the bear was female and weighed 70 kilograms. While mountain goats usually weigh around the same, he said he’s seen some weigh over 130 kilograms.
Parks Canada said they removed the carcass from the area to prevent it from attracting any wildlife that may pose a risk to visitors in the area.
They also said that although goats are well-equipped to protect themselves, it is rare to see one actually kill a bear.
“It’s pretty interesting. It doesn’t happen every day,” said Laskin.
“And, you know, nature is full of surprises.”
Radio West6:48Parks Canada Ecologist David Laskin explains what happened to a grizzly in Yoho National Park when it attacked a mountain goat