The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is investigating a bear attack that happened Monday night in northern B.C.
The provincial agency said a male employee of mining company ZincX Resources Corporation was left with serious but non-life-threatening injuries after an encounter with a black bear at his remote work camp site in the Akie River Valley — about 102 kilometres northeast of Mackenzie, B.C., at the northern tip of Williston Lake — shortly after 10 p.m. PT.
The agency confirms that the bear took the man by surprise while his coworkers were setting up the camp site.
According to the Conservation Officer Service, the bear was shot and killed by another worker after the attack. It said the victim — who is now recovering — received medical treatment onsite and was later transported more than 500 kilometres south to a hospital in Prince George.
All remaining employees have left the work camp site, the agency tweeted.
Conservation officers are conducting a forensic investigation of the attack site to make sure there's not an ongoing safety concern.
Eamon McArthur, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service's acting sergeant for the Omineca region, says workers will be allowed to return to the camp site once the investigation is complete.
"We attended the site and took samples and ensured that the site was safe [and] there were no other animals," he said. "We've gone through with the the company…[and] discussed some options on how to be safe in their country."
McArthur advises people to become informed and take safety precuations in remote areas with a large number of black bears and no easy access to emergency services.