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A grizzly bear sow in the Bella Coola Valley near Tweedsmiur Park Lodge October 8, 2011.The Globe and Mail

A mother grizzly in southeastern B.C. followed her instincts to protect her cub, but those instincts have left her with a gunshot wound and two hikers recovering from cuts, gouges and bites.

Conservation officers are now tracking the injured bear after one of the hikers managed to wound it with a shotgun blast as it took several swipes at him.

The bear had attacked the man's companion just moments earlier, leaving the first man with bite wounds to his upper arm and chest, after the pair surprised the grizzly and its cub on Mount Proctor, near Fernie.

The sow and cub ran into the bush after the incident and trackers are trying to determine how badly the mother bear has been hurt.