DAWSON CREEK, B.C. - Police say two women are critically injured after a black bear attacked a family hiking near Dawson Creek in northeastern B.C., then guarded the victims from rescuers until it was shot dead.
A statement posted to social media by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service says the family of four turned and ran when the bear charged them Monday evening.
The service says the bear chased them and attacked one woman, while another woman and a teenage boy were injured trying to help her.
The RCMP say they were called to the scene and searched for the victims for about an hour at the cross-country ski club trails on Bear Mountain, south of Dawson Creek.
Officers found the two women, aged 30 and 48, critically hurt with a large boar black bear apparently "guarding" the victims and ignoring attempts to scare it off.
The Mounties say officers shot and killed the animal, making way for the victims to be airlifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The conservation service says one woman was taken to hospital in Edmonton, and her condition is now unknown.
The two other victims were taken to hospital in Dawson Creek.
The service says its investigators remain at the attack site.
"No additional bears were located during a sweep of the area. A necropsy will be conducted on the bear, an adult male."