British Columbia

Photographer in B.C.'s Skeena region injured in 'surprise defensive' grizzly attack

A man on his way to photograph grizzlies during salmon spawning season in B.C.'s Skeena region was seriously injured Wednesday morning in what conservation officers are describing as a "surprise defensive attack."

Officials say no effort will be made to capture animal after attack near Fulton River Spawning Channel

A grizzly bear is pictured in a stock photo. One person has been taken to hospital after an attack in B.C. early Wednesday. (Jakub Moravec/Shutterstock)

A man on his way to photograph grizzlies during salmon spawning season in B.C.'s Skeena region was seriously injured Wednesday morning in what conservation officers are describing as a "surprise defensive attack."

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said the man was attacked near the Village of Granisle, near Babine Lake, as he was walking along an access road to the Fulton River Spawning Channel at about 7 a.m. The area has a reputation as a good place to view bears, especially when the salmon are spawning, according to conservation officers.

The attack left the man with serious injuries to his arm and he was taken to hospital in Prince George. He is in stable condition and his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, according to B.C. Emergency Health Services.

Conservation officers collected evidence at the site of the attack and interviewed the victim and witnesses, before determining it was a "surprise defensive attack," according to a statement issued late Wednesday afternoon.

"No efforts to capture the bear will be made," the statement said.

Wednesday's attack happened in an area near Granisle that's popular for bear viewing. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

Granisle is northwest of Burns Lake, B.C. The village has a population of roughly 300 people.

Grizzly bear attacks are rare in the province, according to WildSafe B.C.

With files from Tom Popyk

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