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VICTORIA - A pair of tourists visiting northern British Columbia had a terrifying close encounter with a black bear recently.

Nicole Caithness, a conservation officer with the BC Conservation Officer Service, says the couple stepped out at a common tourist pullout on the South Klondike Highway just south of the Yukon boundary on July 29.

She says they took their dogs for a walk on leash and happened upon a lone black bear as it came out of a ditch.

The bear attacked one of the dogs and then the man jumped on the bear and began punching it, but Caithness says the bear remained focused on the dog until both bear and man rolled into the ditch.

The bear bit the man, who managed to escape and get help at the Carcross Health Station in Yukon.

In a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Caithness says Yukon conservation officers later attended the area and destroyed the bear when it came at them in an aggressive manner.