Man attacked by bear near Smoky Lake, sent to hospital

Warning: Some may find photos disturbing in the story above

EDMONTON – A man is recovering at the University of Alberta hospital in Edmonton after being attacked by a bear near Smoky Lake, Alberta.

Alberta Fish and Wildlife said a 56-year-old man was attacked by a Black bear about 13 kilometers northeast of the town of Smoky Lake Sunday evening.

According to Fish and Wildlife, the hunter lawfully shot the bear before the attack. He then chased the bear, which is when the bear attacked him.

The bear began to maul one of the man’s arms. The man managed to grab his firearm and shoot the bear again.

The wounded hunter managed to make his way back to a nearby truck where his friends were waiting and called 911.

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“There was bite marks obviously on him and claw marks, so we knew it was definitely a bear attack,” Deputy fire chief Chris Schwab, Smoky Lake Fire Department. “He was obviously in a lot of pain and covered in blood.”

“It’s survival when he’s got a hold of you. Most people are a lot tougher than you think. Put in the right circumstance people can do amazing things,” said Mike Ewald, Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

The man was coherent before being flown to the U of A hospital by STARS Air Ambulance.

“He was in stable condition for the flight. Other than that I think it was just superficial injuries, so just on top of the skin and some puncture wounds,” explained Sherry Brooks, STARS Flight Nurse.

Wildlife experts said the hunter made some critical mistakes. After shooting the bear he shouldn’t have chased after it so soon, nor should he have gone into the bush by himself.

“It’s a very fortunate set of circumstances. It easily could have ended completely opposite…very fortunate and very thankful that it ended this way,” said Ewald.

The man was to undergo surgery on one of his arms, but is expected to make a full recovery.

Wildlife officials say Black bear hunting is permitted year round, and is allowed on private property with the owner’s permission.

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Smoky Lake is 117 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

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