A Quebec man is in a stable condition in a Kelowna, B.C., hospital after spending several days injured and alone in the forest, having escaped a mother bear attack.
After a day's work in the orchards around near Summerland, B.C., Julien Landry, 25, of Trois-Rivières, Que., was out for a hike in the Trout Creek canyon when a bear charged, forcing him up a tree.
It is not clear whether the bear and her cubs were grizzlies or black bears but as they circled the tree below, Landry waited, trapped high in the branches for hours, growing increasingly tired.
"Eventually he fell asleep because he'd been working all day in the orchards," said RCMP Const. Jacques Lefebvre. "When he fell asleep he fell down off the tree and landed on some rocks in the creek."
Lying unconscious in the creek, it was a day and a half before Landry awoke. He eventually managed to drag himself out of the water but was too weak to walk.
After Landry failed to show up for work, RCMP say a friend reported him missing on Aug. 15.
The next day, Saturday, a search and rescue team including an RCMP helicopter and plane went out to look, but could not find him in the massive canyon.
On Sunday the searchers were going to go out again but Frank Flanagan, who heard there was a missing hiker, went out for his usual daily walk with his dog, and found the badly-injured man under a tree,
Unable to move and fearing hypothermia, Landry had buried himself in dirt to keep warm.
Landry suffered a concussion, bleeding in his stomach, bruised ribs and broken vertebrae and was rushed to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. Doctors now expect him to make a good recovery.
"I don't think he could have gotten himself out of the bush. He's very lucky," said Lefebvre.