A grizzly bear was killed by a mountain goat in a park in British Columbia, Canada. Yoho park officials found the bear slumped near a trail about three weeks ago.
According to Parks Canada, a forensic necropsy of a bear showed that it died of wounds inflicted by the mountain goat.
According to David Laskin, wildlife ecologist with Parks Canada, the bear was found with puncture wounds at the bottom of the neck and armpits, consistent with a mountain goat's horns. He said other causes of death including human involvement were ruled out.
Laskin explained that it is common for grizzly bears to prey on mountain goats, occasionally attacking them on the head in the back of the neck and the shoulders of their prey.
But he said it was 'exceedingly rare' for the prey to fatally wound the predator.
It was quite interesting, and it’s not something we normally encounter. It’s still a loss of a female grizzly bear in her reproductive prime, however our grizzly bear populations are still healthy and stable in the park.
The necropsy determined that the bear was an adult with no signs of ever having cubs of her own. The mountain goat weighs about double the size of the bear, which stood at 68 kilograms.
Laskin says, although it’s hard to gauge the bear's hunting experience, her smaller size may have played a role in the fatal attack.
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. And, you know, nature is full of surprises