It’s not yet known whether two women pulled from a hiking trail in northeastern B.C. Monday (Oct. 3) will survive the bear attack that left them there.
The two, aged 30 and 48, were part of a family four hiking in the Nordic Ski Trail system on Bear Mountain, near Dawson Creek, on Monday evening when they encountered a large boar black bear. When the family attempted to run away, the bear charged after them, according to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.
One woman was quickly injured, as were the second woman and a teenage boy when they attempted to help her, the conservation service says.
At about 6:50 p.m., Dawson Creek RCMP received the call that there had been a bear attack. They immediately started searching the area, but it wasn’t until an hour later when it was growing dark that two officers on an off-road vehicle spotted the women laying in the bush.
RCMP say the black bear was still in the area and appeared to be “guarding the victims.” Officers attempted to scare it off, but resorted to using a rifle to kill it when it refused to leave, according to RCMP.
One woman was then airlifted to hospital, where her condition is unknown, while the other woman and teen were taken to hospital in Dawson Creek.
As of Tuesday morning, RCMP said both women “remain alive.”
The area where the bear was killed remained closed Tuesday and the conservation service said a necropsy would be performed on the bear.
Police are reminding trail users to always make noise when they are in the backcountry to alert bears to their presence, and to carry bear spray and travel in groups.
“Avoid hiking on trails in the backcountry during sunrise and sunset, which is when most animals will be most active,” RCMP said.