Watch These Mountain Goats Prove Their Climbing Expertise and Escape a Massive Brown Bear

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: August 30, 2023
© AndreAnita/
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Key Points

  • As the video at the bottom of this page shows, predators sometimes have to take serious risks to secure prey.
  • Mountain goats are not only great climbers, but they are very agile and can leap up to 12 feet.
  • The grizzly bear could not compete with the mountain goat’s ability to move around on sheer cliffs.

There are very few animals on this earth that can traverse a rock face as sheer as the one in this clip. Mountain goats are one of them and sadly, this particular grizzly bear is not. As the video at the bottom of this page shows, predators sometimes have to take serious risks to secure prey. Sometimes they lose their lives in the pursuit of a meal.

Mountain Goats and Their Habitats

Mountain goats on cliff edge
Mountain goats escape predators and access food on cliff faces

©Ververidis Vasilis/

Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) are not the same goats as the ones we rear for milk and meat. However, they are closely related. They live in western North America and are mainly found in the Rocky Mountains and the Cascades of the United States and Canada.

As well as being great climbers, they are very agile and can leap up to 12 feet. This allows them to leap over rock crevices to escape predators. Their excellent eyesight helps them to spot approaching predators and to pick out the best mountain paths.

Why Don’t Mountain Goats Fall?

Mountain goat on rock
Mountain goats have hooves that act like suction cups

©Steve Boice/

It’s tragic to see this grizzly bear fall to its death. But the accident occurred because the goat is better adapted to the cliffs than the bear. This gives the goats an evolutionary advantage and somewhere to go to escape predators.

Mountain goats are described in scientific terms as even-toed ungulates. Their hooves are cloven – which means that they separate to give a great grip. Also, there are pads on them that produce friction with the rocks. Added to this are developed dewclaws (a digit that is higher up on the leg) that also prevent slipping. Gripping onto mountainsides is hard work – so they also have strong shoulder and neck muscles.

Scientists have been so impressed with these goats’ ability to move around on sheer cliffs that they have conducted detailed research into the biomechanics of how they do it. They found that goats use their whole body to achieve this feat. The front and rear limbs are moved in such a way that the center of mass is vertically translated up the mountain slope thus maintaining excellent balance. Sadly, thus bear could not compete.  

Click the Link Below to Watch the Tragic Footage

The Featured Image

Rocky Mountain Goat
What's really impressive is how they're able to climb around on the mountains like it's no big deal.
© AndreAnita/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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