Conservation officers in the Kootenays have relocated a grizzly bear sow that charged a mother and her two kids.

Chelsey Leyshon was out walking her German shepherd pup in Cooper Creek, B.C., when the bear charged at her. 

"This momma grizzly bear comes out of that creek bed like a tank," she said.

She says the bear false-charged and retreated a few times, sending Leyshon's five-year-old into hysterics.

"I wanted to take her attention to focus on me. She was bluff-charging in-and-out and standing up."

That's when Leyshon pulled out her bear spray, but the cannister is past its expiry date and emitted only a weak, metre-long stream. Fortunately, it was enough to distract the bear.

'She stopped in her tracks and gave me a second look, and we had this eye contact moment," Leyshon said. "She decided enough is enough and she took off running with her cubs."

Chelsey Leyshon and family

Chelsey Leyshon and her two children were charged by a protective grizzly sow. (Jane Gao)

Shaken by the experience, Leyshon is convinced bear spray saved her family and will check the expiry date from now on.

B.C. Conservation Service Sgt. Cynthia Mann says they trapped the sow on Wednesday and transported her deep into the bush. 

The sow had cubs of her own and the Conservation Service determined she was just being protective.

"Her reaction to the lady and the dog was a defensive one, for sure," Mann said.

"She's a fairly docile bear. A fairly older sow, so we think we're going to have some success relocating her to the edge of her territory."

The Conservation Service says it decided to relocate the sow without her cubs.

Mann added the bear cubs are at least a year-and-a-half old and should have no problem surviving without their mother.

With files from Bob Keating and Tamara Baluja