Elderly couple fends off bear attack

Story highlights

  • Couple out for walk survives bear attack near Kimberley, British Columbia
  • The husband, in his 80s, tried to help his wife, in her 60s, but the bear turned on him
  • Conservation authorities are looking for the bear, police say, and it may be put down
An elderly couple survived a bear attack in rural British Columbia, and authorities are hunting for the animal.
The attack, near the southeastern city of Kimberley, apparently happened Sunday while a husband and wife were out on an afternoon walk, Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson Sgt. Laurie Jalbert said.
The woman was walking in front when she encountered a brown bear and cubs who were near a dead deer.
The bear turned on the woman, Jalbert said, and her husband tried to help her. The bear then turned on him and began attacking him, then turned back to her.
Somehow the couple managed to fight the animal off, and it left, Jalbert said.
The husband is in his 80s. The wife is in her 60s. Both were rushed to Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary and remain in stable condition. Both have head wounds and bites on their arms and legs.
Jalbert said authorities believe the bear was a grizzly, but the husband said he thought it might be a black bear.
If a bear is determined to have attacked someone, often it is put down, Jalbert said.
During this time of year in that area, bears are starting to hibernate. Because this bear has cubs, it may be out of its den longer to gather food, Jalbert said.