British Columbia

Bear attacks 2 Vancouver Island men

Two Vancouver Island men camping near Port Alberni are attacked by a bear.
Jay Vinden, 57, is recovering in hospital after being mauled by a bear on Wednesday morning. ((CBC))
Two Vancouver Island men were attacked by a bear while they camped near Port Alberni on Wednesday morning.

Jay Vinden and Bruce Doyle, both from Sooke, B.C., were camping in an area known as Taylor Flats, west of Port Alberni.

They were sleeping when the bear attacked.

"He took about two seconds to size me up, then lunged for my mid-section," said Vinden, 57.

"Then [he] flipped me over with one hand like a pancake and went for my head. I started screaming bloody murder because I couldn't reach my knife and I couldn't curl into a ball or anything, so I just started screaming."

The commotion woke Doyle, 47, who was sleeping in a nearby tent. He started fighting off the bear, which distracted the animal and caused it to turn its attention to Doyle. 

"By that time, I got my knife and I whacked him over the snout and away he went," Vinden said.

He believes he would not be alive if his friend had not intervened.

"[The bear] was intent. I was a goner."

Both men received extensive claw mark wounds in the attack, but were able to get to the West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni for treatment.

Vinden also sustained an injury to his skull and was later transported to Nanaimo for surgery.

Police and conservation officers are looking for the bear, which will likely be destroyed. ((CBC))
Police and conservation officers are now hunting for the black bear, which police say is believed to weigh about 68 kilograms.

Officials say given the predatory nature of the attack, the bear will likely be destroyed.

Sgt. Kevin Murray of the Port Alberni RCMP advised the public to be cautious in the area.

"Police and conservation want to remind people visiting the backcountry to be extra vigilant in protecting themselves and their camp from wildlife encounters," he said.