British Columbia

Grizzly bear attacks hunter near Cranbrook, B.C.

A female grizzly bear that charged and attacked a hunter near Cranbrook B.C. was protecting its two cubs, says the conservation officer who investigated the attack.

'The bear and the hunter happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,' conservation officer says

A bow hunter was attacked and injured by a grizzly bear Tuesday night that conservation officers say was just protecting her cubs. (file photo/Canadian Press)

A female grizzly bear that charged and attacked a hunter near  Cranbrook, B.C., was protecting its two cubs, says the conservation officer who investigated the attack.

"Our position is, it was a defensive attack," said Joe Caravetta, an inspector with the B.C. Conservation Service's Kootenay-Boundary region.

"The hunter did nothing wrong," Caravetta told CBC's On the Coast. "The bear and the hunter happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and we are not pursuing these bears.

"She was doing what was natural to protect her cubs."

The hunter is recovering in hospital in Calgary and his injuries are not life threatening, Caravetta said. 

The hunter was armed with a bow and arrow and looking for elk, but instead a grizzly bear and its cubs appeared.

Caravetta said the hunter yelled at the bear to scare it off, but the grizzly charged. The hunter said he managed to fire one arrow at the bear before it attacked, throwing him to the ground. The sow eventually retreated and the man managed to get back to his vehicle to call for help.

Hunter aimed arrow at grizzly, but missed

At first, conservation officers thought the hunter hit the grizzly with an arrow, but on Wednesday, investigators recovered that arrow, which told a different story.

It was discovered in the ground with no blood or hair on the arrow head, "indicating to us that he had completely missed that grizzly bear," Caravetta said.

The attack happened near City Fields, on Highway 3 near the turnoff to Highway 95a.

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