Grizzly attacks bow hunter

A grizzly bear attack that occurred Tuesday night has left a man with non-life-threatening injuries.

A grizzly bear attack that occurred Tuesday night has left a man with non-life-threatening injuries. The man was airlifted to a hospital in Calgary late Tuesday night.

Conservation Officer Joe Caravetta said they are still piecing together what occurred.

“The information that we’ve confirmed so far is that the individual was bow hunting last evening and was confronted by a sow grizzly bear with two cubs,” Caravetta said.

He added that what they know so far indicates that as the sow charged the bow hunter, the bow hunter shot an arrow off, before being attacked by the grizzly.

“He was injured by the bear,” he said. The bear then retreated. “Then the hunter was able to get out and get to a hospital.”

Caravetta said the area has been closed off for the time being.

The area is across from the Pritchard Road area out at the city’s agricultural fields, down along the river.

He said there is no immediate safety threat to the public.

“We have advised all other hunters in that area, and asked people to refrain from going in there until we can do further investigation on the sight and try to locate this wounded bear,” he said. “That’s where we’re at today.”

Caravetta noted there are four conservation officers specialized in predator attacks there assessing the situation. Two of the officers are from this area and two drove down last night.

Caravetta noted they classify attacks into two categories: predatory and defensive.

“At his point we don’t know which category it is because we are still investigating it,” he said.

He said the recent drought has prompted bears to search out food and come closer to communities.

“B.C. getting numerous calls on bear sightings certainly relates to the fact that it was very hot, and a very poor berry crop, as a result bears are moving further distances to locate food as they get prepared for hibernation in the next two months,” he said. That is not just grizzly bears, but black bears as well.

He couldn’t comment on what the outcome for the bear would be.

“We don’t know how badly it’s injured,” he said. “We know it had two cubs — or it’s alleged to have two cubs with it. So again we don’t know how old those cubs are. We don’t know what condition she’s in in terms of being injured and how badly it is. So until we can ascertain that we can’t make any judgements yet.”

Caravetta said with the reduced natural food source out there, they are asking the public to be extremely diligent when out in the bush. He said it’s also important to be diligent on things that could be attractants to bears, such as fruit trees, barbecues and garbage.

“And just to be extra diligent in taking care that those attractants aren’t available to bears,” he said.

If you encounter a bear, call the RAPP line as soon as possible at 1-877-952-7277 to report it.