Meet Elsa the Mountain Goat

1 minute read – 

Meet Elsa, the mountain goat! She came from Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers B.C located within The Witset First Nation is a First Nations band government of the Wet’suwet’en people of Witset, British Columbia, Canada. She was brought there in June, 2023 at about 1 week old.  She was brought to this wildlife shelter after she was swept down river – it’s not sure, the details, how or why, but she was orphaned and injured at that point when she was found by rangers working on the land.

She had several cuts and lacerations, she lost a few baby teeth. She was taken care of incredibly well by the staff and volunteers at the Northern Lights Wildlife Society. 

You can watch a few of these videos of her care and progress via their social media.

Elsa the queen of the North. Mountain goat rescue from BC wildlife Shelter. Elsa 1 week june 2023

By August, Elsa recovered fully from her injuries and complications that came after. Such challenges are bound to happen with wildlife, especially with an animal so young and under considerable stress and change. 

Elsa the mountain goat ice queen of the North 2 months old and recovered and eating well.

The little queen, Elsa continued to grow and by early winter she was ready for transport to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve for her long-term home. Since the goat was coming from another jurisdiction, in fact, one outside of the Yukon Territory, necessary coordination and import permits were required before her transport and arrival. With all the ‘red tape’ out of the way the Preserve now needed to consider how to get her to the Yukon, the quickest and safest way. Since the Wildlife Shelter is in Northern British Columbia, an Air North Transport was not an option, as it has been with other rehabilitation animals, though those animals were mostly headed South and back to the wild, not North and into long-term care. 

Elsa, the mountain goat, just a few days before her big move to the big leagues which means to the big cliff in the background with the nannies.

Community connections started this journey for Elsa and it continued through her successful transportation by an incredible offering as described below by Rebecca Bradford-Andrew, Manager, First Nation Education Advocates for Yukon First Nation Education Directorate. 

Wild orphaned Nanny goat Elsa from the remote mountains of Northen BC. transportation from her rescue facility to Whitehorse was provided by teenagers, a team of young wildlife enthusiasts from the Yukon First Nation Education Directorate (YFNED) ( a Jordan’s Principle-funded Initiative).

These local teens work to build community and culture by supporting indigenous students in Yukon schools. They strive to be role models for youth by doing good deeds and stepping in where needed. Thank you Dr.Hallock and your team for including us in this wonderful opportunity to collaborate for our community!

The YFNED, an indigenous-led educational organization, supports traditional, land-based learning opportunities.

The YWP has been educating people for years, and Yukon students have much to learn about eco-systems, evolution, and herd dynamics, with a strong, healthy mountain goat population their textbooks, and the beautiful cliffs of the YWP their classroom.

Edone daga eti’e (For the good of the child).

Elsa arrived December 12, 2023 to the Wildlife Rehabiliation Centre where for the next 30 days would be in quarantine. This is a mandatory isolation while testing occurred and medication was administered by Preserve’s Animal Care team to ensure her eventual integration to the collection of goats would not pose any risks. Of course, the ice queen of the North, passed with flying crystals . . . er., colours!

In mid January Elsa was brought to her temporary, small rocky mountain habitat as she got bigger, before joining the big leagues, on the big mountain cliff at the Preserve. She was a delight and distraction for staff at the office where she would be spotted through windows being a goat – bounding around, climbing the rocks and being unbelievably cute!  

Social media link to the posting by NLWS about Elsa's arrival.

April 9th, 2024 Elsa joined the group of mountain goats at the Preserve and can be spotted living her best goat life thanks to people, community, collaboration and their great care of iconic North American wildlife in need of second chances.

Elsa the mountain goat with the nanny group.

Elsa, the mountain goat lives at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve which is the Traditional Territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.

Elsa the mountain goat introduced to the nanny group. B.Forsythe

Photo credits: Northern Lights Wildlife Society, YFNED – Yukon First Nations Education Directorate, L.Caskenette, B.Forsythe.

Lindsay Caskenette

Lindsay Caskenette

Manager of Visitor Services

Lindsay joined the Wildlife Preserve team March 2014. Originally from Ontario, she came to the Yukon in search of new adventures and new career challenges. Lindsay holds a degree in Environmental Studies with honours from Wilfrid Laurier University and brings with her a strong passion to share what nature, animals and the environment can teach us.

867-456-7400
lindsay@yukonwildlife.ca

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4 Comments

  1. Dan Paleczny

    A good story that demonstrates the strengths of the YWP and its staff.

    Reply
    • Lindsay Caskenette

      Thanks so much, Dan!

      Reply
  2. Donna Milne

    My hiking group walked the Preserve yesterday and saw the large group of goats (which I had never seen before at the Preserve!). Elsa head butted the larger animal and tried to scurry up the mountain (not successfully at first). So darn cute!!

    Reply
    • Lindsay Caskenette

      She’s just a kid, but does she have gumption, or what! She will make a good nanny goat soon enough, grumpy and goat-like, like the rest of them.

      Reply

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