A 37-year-old woman and her 10-month-old baby are dead after being mauled by a grizzly bear outside their remote cabin in Yukon, in northwestern Canada.
The Yukon Coroner’s Service said Valerie Theoret and her baby girl, Adele Roesholt, were killed by the animal near Einarson Lake, an isolated area more than 400 km northeast of Whitehorse, near the border between Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
Their bodies were discovered by the child’s father at around 3 p.m. on Monday after he returned home from checking his trap line.
Gjermund Roesholt said he shot and killed the bear after the animal charged him about 100 metres outside the family’s cabin.
When he went to check the cabin, he found the lifeless bodies of his wife and daughter just outside, according to coroner Heather Jones.
“It appears they had been out for a walk when the incident occurred, sometime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.,” Jones said in a news release.
Roesholt activated an emergency beacon device to call for help.
That call went to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachment in Mayo, a village of 200 people and the closest settlement to the cabin. It also went to friends of the couple.
‘A big, big blow’
“It’s a big, big blow. Everybody is totally devastated right now,” family friend Rémy Beaupré told CBC News on Tuesday.
“Lots of our friends are gathering tonight to mourn a little bit and support each other a little bit.”
According to the coroner, the family of three had lived in the cabin for the last three months and were trapping around the lake.
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Theoret, originally from Quebec, and Roesholt, who came to Canada from Norway, were experienced outdoorsmen. Theoret taught French at a local elementary school in Whitehorse and was on maternity leave.
The couple also offered wilderness guiding tours to tourists, as well as handmade products made from animals they trapped and hunted, according to their website.
The RCMP, Environment Yukon and Yukon’s Coroner’s Service are conducting an investigation into the incident.
With files from The Canadian Press and CBC News