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BC man airlifted to Calgary hospital after grizzly bear attack in the Kootenays

A grizzly bear attack in the easternmost part of British Columbia has left one man in hospital and the animal dead.

Emergency crews responded to the incident just south of Elkford, BC, around 3 pm on Thursday.

According to the RCMP, it happened on a steep mountainside to the west of Hwy 43 as two local men, a father and son, were tracking a bear with their dogs.

Police said the son, a 36-year-old Sparwood resident, was “attacked suddenly” by an adult grizzly bear, leaving him with several injuries including broken bones and lacerations.

“The man was able to defend himself with his firearm and the bear ran off,” an RCMP release explained. “The other man, his father, called for help.”

<who>Photo Credit: Elkford Search and Rescue

Several agencies, including the Elkford Fire Department, BC Ambulance, Elk Valley RCMP, conservation officers and local search and rescue teams, responded to the call.

Search and rescue was able to coordinate a helicopter long-line lift rescue once ground crews were able to move the injured man around 200 metres down the mountain.

He was first flown to a nearby helipad in Elkford before being transferred to a STARS air ambulance and airlifted to Calgary Foothills Hospital in stable condition.

“All remaining personnel were able to exit the location without other contact with the animal, which remained at large,” the RCMP release said.

“The BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) then sent a team up the mountain side in an attempt to locate the possibly injured animal.”

Shortly after 9 pm, conservation officers found the bear dead near the scene of the initial incident.

Police said further investigation into this incident will be conducted by the BCCOS, if required.

The BCCOS said it will continue to coordinate with colleagues today, including Alberta Fish and Wildlife, to interview the victim and retain evidence.

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