Engineer George Knoll was flagging trees along a creek in the Kwatna area when he was charged and bitten by the bear.
A B.C. man is recovering in a Vancouver hospital after surviving an attack by a mother grizzly bear near Bella Bella Thursday.

George Knoll works as an engineer for a Vancouver logging company and was flagging trees along a creek in the Kwatna area Thursday morning at about 8:30 a.m. when he was charged and bitten by the bear.

Williams Lake Conservation Officer Len Butler said the mother bear, called a sow, charged at Knoll who was able to fight back.

"It mauled him, basically biting around the torso and his one arm severely," Butler told CTV News. "He was able to kick the bear off twice and then the sow left and he realized there was a cub with it."

Three other co-workers were working in the remote area and Knoll was able to radio for help and get to a helipad.

"He administered first aid to himself which is amazing, his coworker found him and got him to the site and got him back to the hospital," Butler said.

Knoll was taken to the Bella Bella hospital and was in stable condition before being taken to the Vancouver General Hospital Thursday afternoon.

Knoll's mother-in-law Patricia Bouchard is thankful that Knoll survived the attack.

"He's a remarkable man because he fought that darn thing off," she said. "I think he had something like 50 puncture wounds."

Butler said if this had been a predatory attack the outcome would have been much worse, but in this case the mother bear was defending her cub.

"The sow was [saying] 'You're in my space' and they want to get you out of there. So a lot of these bites are like when dogs are biting at each other but they're severe with the size of an animal like that."

Butler said it is more likely that people will survive attacks from a mother bear when she is with her cub. After defensive attacks like this in remote locations Butler said the bears, which have not been seen in the area since, will not be put down.

"It's probably stressed from the whole situation itself and has taken her cub and taken off," he said

Bouchard said her son-in-law will need plastic surgery and he can't believe he's alive.

"It's amazing to live through a grizzly attack, my gosh. Not too many people get to tell that story."

According to Butler the Kwatna area is known to have a high concentration of grizzlies.