A man was bitten by a grizzly bear this weekend while hiking to Tenquille Lake near Pemberton.
The 51-year-old man from Pemberton was with a female companion on one of the oldest hiking routes in the Pemberton Valley on Sunday, Oct. 14 when they suddenly came across a grizzly sow and three cubs.
The surprise encounter startled the four bears, causing the sow and two of the cubs to go up a hill. The third cub charged the two hikers, biting the man.
The man pepper sprayed the cub directly in the face, and the cub left to join its family up the hill.
Conservation Officer Chris Doyle could not release the name of the man this week, but said he is suffering from minor injuries and received no medical treatment.
Doyle added that an attack by either a black bear or grizzly bear in the Pemberton valley area is extremely rare.
“It is not unusual for grizzlies to be there, it is fairly common. But it is unusual to have any kind of interaction with people like that,” he said.
Doyle said conservation officers have investigated the site and determined that the attack was a result of close quarters and a surprise encounter, adding that officers put signs up on the trail to warn future hikes.
“We will be taking no further actions at this point in time,” he said.