June 17, 2015 - 2:30 PM
WILLIAMS LAKE - A conservation officer says a woman who surprised a grizzly bear in the mountains near Horsefly, B.C., likely could not have prevented the attack.
Len Butler with the Conservation Officer Service says the incident last Friday was a chance encounter between the woman in her mid-20s and a young bear that probably lunged in self-defence.
Butler says the woman and a companion, both from nearby Williams Lake, were hiking mid-afternoon when they emerged on a knoll from a meadow.
He says the bear arrived up hill about the same moment and then took the path of least resistance, biting and breaking the woman's arm before running off into the trees.
The pair hiked about an hour back down the mountain before driving two more hours to the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops where her injury was treated.
Butler says surprise attacks are fairly common across the province but hikers can sometimes avoid injury by holstering bear spray to their hip where it's readily accessible.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015