An elk hunter killed a sow grizzly bear on Togwotee Pass after the bear mauled his hunting partner.

The victim, Pat Vanfleet, was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, where he was treated for wounds to his hand, lower leg and abdomen. He was listed in stable condition.The attack occurred about 7:45 a.m. Sunday. Everett Stiegelmeyer told authorities he unsuccessfully tried to use pepper spray to stop the bear.

The bear's three cubs, believed to be almost 2 years old, were not captured and are living on their own.

"We expect they will survive on their own," said Tim Eicher, special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Cody.

The adult bear was taken to the state lab for analysis. Determining if the shooting was warranted will be part of the investigation, Eicher said.

Grizzlies are protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.