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'Goat Kills Grizzly' Isn't the Headline We Expected

But it's the headline we're getting out of Canada, thanks to one goat's apparently deadly horns
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2021 10:25 AM CDT
'Goat Kills Grizzly' Isn't the Headline We Expected
Is this the smug, satisfied look of a goat that's fought off a bear? We may never know.   (Getty Images/joshschutz)

(Newser) – If we were betting folks and had to wager on a fight between a mountain goat and a grizzly bear, it seems obvious where the safe money would land. But in what the Guardian calls a "rare turn of events," the GOAT title in this case out of Canada goes to ... the actual goat. Parks Canada officials report on the carcass of a female grizzly found Sept. 4 near a trail in British Columbia's Yoho National Park, and a necropsy on the bear produced a surprising find. The bear "died of natural causes, which is due to an unsuccessful predation attempt of a mountain goat," David Laskin, a wildlife ecologist with the parks agency, tells Rocky Mountain Outlook Today.

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How the goat apparently killed the bear, based on the wounds found on the bear's carcass: by plunging its sharp horns into the bear's armpits and under the side of its neck. "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," Laskin notes, which might prompt a goat in trouble to fight off such an attack with its horns.

What may have also thrown the advantage into the goat's corner is that male goats in the Canadian Rockies can weigh close to 300 pounds, while this particular bear, which didn't appear to have any cubs, was only about 155 pounds and appeared to be in "reasonable to poor body condition" for this time of year, per Laskin. He tells the Guardian that other cases have come to light of goats killing grizzlies in self-defense, but "rarely do you find anything documented like this." He calls the incident a "reminder that nature is full of surprises." (Read more mountain goat stories.)

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