Tamara Hynd/The Free Press
The details are still under investigation but it has been reported to the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) that two Fernie men are recovering after they were attacked by what appeared to be a sow grizzly bear on the ridge top of Mt. Proctor Wednesday morning.
The two men, who are in their mid-thirties, were hiking along the ridge top of Mt. Proctor around 9 a.m. A bear charged towards them and began attacking one man, biting his upper arm and chest area. When the man discharged pepper spray into the bear’s face, the bear backed off but then ran at the second man.
The second man had a shotgun and discharged one shot at the bear at a very close range. The bear continued to attack the second man for a few seconds. Following the attack on the second man, the bear fled into the bushes. One cub was seen with the sow.
Both men were able to apply basic first aid to each other and then quickly made their way down the mountain. The men arrived at the Elk Valley Hospital in Fernie where they were treated for their injuries. Authorities were notified at this time.
Sergeant Joe Caravetta from COS confirmed that currently there are five officers in the area investigating this incident with the aid of a helicopter and one of the injured men to locate the attack area.
“We have officers on site at the attack area just now conducting our investigation. We still need to confirm that it was a grizzly bear.”
Caravetta continued, “The incident did not happen in the Fairy Creek/ Mt. Proctor Recreation trail area but for public safety, we have closed that area. We ask that people stay out of that area until we have finished our investigation.”
Caravetta added, “We don’t know why the attack happened yet. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions so we are investigating.”
Both men were taken down to the ground during the attack and suffered non-life threatening injuries to their arms, legs and upper body.