A grizzly bear attacked an angler near Canal Flats on Wednesday night. The attack occurred just off Findlay Creek Road, about eight kilometres up.
Conservation Officer Joe Caravetta said the man was walking along a path and startled a young grizzly bear at a distance of about three meters.
“The bear attacked the angler, biting him on his leg and hand. The bear fled shortly and the angler made his way back to the vehicle, returned to Canal Flats and contacted 911,” Caravetta said.
The man was then taken to the Invermere hospital, with non-life threatening injuries.
“Conservation Officer Services and the RCMP attended at the site where the attack occurred and closed the area off and advised others in there to the incident and to leave the area,” he said.
Caravetta said they determined there was no immediate threat to the public at that site at that time.
Four officers attended the site Thursday morning to further investigate.
“They determined that there was a large, domestic cow carcass, buried where the attack occurred,” he said. “The carcass was fairly old and consisted of mostly bones and hide. The bear was also seen by the officers and confirmed to be about a three year old grizzly — so a fairly small grizzly bear and fairly young.”
Caravetta said it was at that point that a decision was made not to pursue the bear. The cow carcass was removed from the area.
Caravetta said they have closed off the offshoot road for a few days — until the bear has returned and found the carcass has been removed.
“It’s just a little side road that lead down to where this happened,” he said.
Caravetta said the noise from the running water as well as the wind were likely factors that contributed to the attack.
“It probably startled the bear and the bear was there protecting what little feed was left,” he said. “Basically the bear was acting normally, defending itself and what little food it had. So we are not engaging after this bear.”
The victim has been released from hospital.