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Man fights off, shoots grizzly bear in attack near Elkford

Victim airlifted to Calgary hospital; bear found dead from injuries
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A team of B.C. Conservation Officer Service officers responded to a reported grizzly bear attack that left a man with significant injuries. (Courtesy of B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

A man suffered significant injuries after a grizzly bear attack near Elkford on Thursday, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service says.

Elk Valley Regional RCMP said the 36-year-old Sparwood man, and his father, had been tracking a bear with dogs on a steep mountainside near the Industrial Park west of Highway 43.

It was around 2 p.m. while hunting that he was attacked by the bear, a post from BC Conservation Officer Service said Friday (May 17).

He was able to use his firearm in self defence and then his father called for help after the bear ran away.

Police said he had numerous injuries, including broken bones and lacerations to his body from the attack.

The RCMP, fire department, ambulance and local search and rescue teams were deployed. Search and rescue was able to coordinate a helicopter long-line lift response by moving the injured man 200 metres down the mountainside, RCMP said.

He was flown to a nearby helipad in Elkford where an air ambulance transported him to Calgary Foothills Hospital, where he is currently being treated. Police say he was in stable condition leaving the scene.

The grizzly’s location was initially unknown to first responders and at the time of the call for help, there was no information as to whether it was alive or wounded.

The conservation officers conducted a sweep of the attack area and, after an “extensive search,” they found a deceased deceased grizzly in the area around 9 p.m. It had died as a result of the wounds.

B.C. Conservation Officer Service said it’s confident it is the bear that was involved with the attack.

The COS said they are continuing to coordinate with their colleagues including Alberta Fish and Wildlife, to interview the victim and gather evidence.