A bear attack at Kananaskis Country, west of Calgary, seriously injured two people and closed a large area, conservation officers said in southern Alberta.
Officials said the animal pulled out after biting a bear repellent spray that one of the people was holding.
Officials from the Alberta Parks Society said a Calgary woman and her adult son were hiking in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park on Saturday afternoon when the bear came out of the forest a few feet away. in front of them.
Arian Spiteri, conservation officer for Kananaskis, said the hikers had surprised the bear “near a carcass and this resulted in a defensive attack”.
We do not know if it was a black bear or a grizzly, but the official said the authorities suspected it was a grizzly bear.
“The bear made contact with the first hiker, knocking him down twice,” she said. “He suffered injuries to his face, head and arms.”
Spiteri said the woman dropped her pepper spray, but was able to pick it up and was about to use it when the bear bit her hand and can.
“At that point, the vaporizer was deployed in the face of the bear – holes created when he bit the cartridge – and the bear has retreated,” she said.
She added that hikers were able to travel to Canmore Hospital, where they were treated for bites and scratches before being discharged.
Officers evacuated the area and closed access to several popular hikes in the Spray River Valley until further notice.
“We close this area to give space to the bear and give it time to recover,” she said.
Spiteri argued that bear attacks are rare in the park, but hikers should always be prepared for a meeting by hicking groups of four or more, making a lot of noise, watching bear activity and carrying bear repellent sprays.
Officials also recommend not wearing headphones and keeping dogs on a leash at all times.