A man working in the forest on British Columbia's central coast was mauled by a grizzly Wednesday.

Sgt. Scott Norris with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service says other crew members quickly came to the man's defence, but his injuries are significant.

The man was part of a crew working in steep forested terrain near Drainey Inlet, about 400 kilometres northwest of Vancouver, the officer says.

The service's specialized predator attack team were flown into the area on Thursday to assess any public-safety risk and to try to determine what happened.

They don't know yet what set off the attack, Norris says.

The victim's condition hasn't been updated, but the officer says he was transferred to a larger hospital on the coast.

March and April is the usual period for bears to emerge from their dens after a winter of hibernation, experts say.

"Bears don't typically look at humans as prey items,'' he said. "They emerge hungry, obviously, any bear does ... but you don't want to jump to the conclusion that the bear's hungry and it attacked an individual.''