One person has been hospitalized with serious injuries after a grizzly bear attack in northern British Columbia.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service responded to the incident, which took place Wednesday morning near Granisle, a village on Babine Lake northwest of Burns Lake.
The Mounties also say RCMP in the Houston, B.C. detached were called regarding the attack, and confirm the victim is a 70-year-old man.
The man was walking along an access road to the Fulton River Spawning Channel, hoping to take pictures at a known “viewing location for bears,” when he encountered the grizzly, said the Conservation Officer Service in a Wednesday afternoon Facebook post.
The bear launched a “surprise defensive attack,” resulting in serious injuries to the man’s arm, it said, adding that officers will not attempt to capture the animals.
The man is still at a Prince George, B.C. hospital, and details on his condition are unavailable.
The B.C. government estimates nearly 15,000 grizzly bears are roaming the province.
Some of the highest population concentrations are in the northern interior and Skeena regions, where this attack took place.
Wildsafe BC, however, says attacks on humans by the large bears are uncommon.
The Conservation Officer Service reminded the public to be vigilant while enjoying nature, travel in groups when possible, make noise to avoid surprising bears, and carry bear spray.
With files from The Canadian Press