Dawson Creek Conservation Officer Brad Lacey says he sustained injuries to his face and upper and lower body, but was able to walk away from the attack and drove to a nearby area where he received assistance from residents. From there he was transported by helicopter to the Fort St. John Hospital for intial treatment, but was taken later that evening to the University of Alberta Hospital, where he is currently recovering in stable condition.
Conservation officers hope to speak with him today to find about more about what happened and where, as they have been so far unable to find the location of the attack. Based on what they were told by the residents who assisted the victim, two officers did an aerial search of the area Sunday, but couldn’t find any evidence to point them in the right direction. They may return based on what they learn from the male today.
Lacey says there has been an increase in reports of interactions between humans and bears in the past two to three weeks.
“One, there’s more people on in the field right now hunting and working, and two, the bears are just on a real push to get that bit of extra nutrition for hibernation,” he explains.“So their being out and people being out, that’s where the interactions are happening.”
That also comes with a warning to remember that they may not be the only ones hunting, as when they are making animal calls, covering themselves in scents, and being quiet and camouflaged, it could fool animals other than their prey.
“Sounding like an animal, smelling potentially like an animal, and not appearing to be anything other than camouflaged,” he says, “people are hunting, but there’s other animals that will hunt the same thing.”
Lacey reminds them to be very aware of their surroundings in case unwanted wildlife has come close, and to avoid anywhere that smells like a carcass is nearby or where scavenging birds can be heard as bears will aggressively protect their food.