A mountain goat with "dagger-like" horns killed an unlikely predator — a grizzly bear.
That's the consensus of a forensic necropsy, or animal autopsy, on the body of a female bear found over Labor Day weekend, according to David Laskin, a Parks Canada wildlife ecologist.
"Grizzly bear predation of mountain goats is relatively common. However, the mountain goat turned the tables on the bear and was successful in its defense," Laskin told USA TODAY.
According to Laskin, grizzly bears usually are the victors when the two animals interact.
The bear was found on the Burgess Pass trail in British Columbia on Sept. 4, where significant goat activity was observed. The carcass was removed the same day to ward off other predators that could pose a risk to visitors.
The wounds to both armpits and the neck of the 154-pound bear were consistent with the sharp horns mountain goats have to defend themselves, ruling out any human involvement.
“When grizzly bears attack, they tend to focus on the head, the back of the neck and the shoulders of the prey. This is usually from above,” Laskin said. “The defensive response of a mountain goat would be to protect itself using their sharp horns.”
Mountain goats inhabit mountainous areas throughout western North America, according to Animal Diversity Web. They typically weigh between 125 and 180 pounds and are known for their thick white fur and black horns that can grow more than a foot long.
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They prefer rocky, higher altitude regions where they would rarely run into grizzly bears, but can encounter them when they descend from cliffs to venture out to graze.
"Instances of mountain of goats fatally wounding a grizzly bear are exceedingly rare. Other cases have been reported in the past but this is the first incident that me and my colleague's have dealt with in the park," Laskin said.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mountain goat becomes unlikely victor, killing grizzly bear in Canada