The man who saved two hikers who were attacked by a grizzly bear in a remote area near Kimberley, B.C., says he can't believe they are still alive.

Randy Harvey, who has a rural home in the area, was watching the Grey Cup on Sunday afternoon when a badly injured man stumbled out of the bush and across his field.

"I got my binoculars and I am looking and I can see it's just an old man, and then he fell down."

Harvey and a friend headed out, thinking it was a car accident victim, but instead found his elderly neighbour.

"I see he is in pretty bad shape — his face is ripped up, big gashes in his head and arms and stuff."

The man was calling for his girlfriend, whom Harvey soon found nearby. She was in worse shape, he said, with massive injuries to her head and leg.

"And all she is saying is, 'No. Don't hurt the bear. No, it's not bear's fault, she was protecting her cubs,'" Harvey said.

Harvey calls his neighbour a hero.

"I would say he is the hero out of this deal," Harvey said. "He walked over a mile beat up that bad to save his girlfriend."

Conservation officers Joe Caravetta told CBC News it appears the two hikers may have startled a female bruin and two cubs near a deer carcass.

The mother bear attacked when the woman tried to run away, said Caravetta.

"The sow chased her and knocked her down. Then the sow chased the male hiker and attacked him. The sow then turned and re-attacked the female hiker," Caravetta told the Kimberley Daily Bulletin.

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"Both victims were badly injured and distraught," he said. "They each had several bites to the legs, groin, head and arms."

The names of the victims have not been released, but police said they are from Kimberley. The woman is in her 60s and the man is close to 80 years of age, said police.

Conservation officers trying to track the bears down said they no longer appeared to be in the area.

With files from The Canadian Press