Woman and Infant Daughter Mauled to Death by Grizzly Bear in Canada

November 28, 2018 Updated: November 28, 2018

A woman and her infant daughter were killed by a bear in the Yukon territory of Canada.

Valérie Théorêt, 37, and her 10-month-old daughter, Adele Roesholt, were killed on Nov. 26 near their cabin in the Einarson Lake area, the Yukon Coroner’s Service said.

The area is near the border with the Northwest Territories.

Théorêt’s husband Gjermund Roesholt activated an emergency SPOT alarm at 3:45 p.m.

The trapper was returning from a trapline around 3 p.m. when he was charged by a grizzly bear about 100 yards from the cabin, the service said in a release obtained by the Yukon News. Roesholt was “forced to shoot the bear dead.”

As he approached the cabin, he found the bodies of his wife and young daughter just outside of it.

Authorities believe Théorêt had taken her daughter for a walk in the late morning or early afternoon, during which time the bear attacked them.

She was a Grade 6 late French immersion teacher at Whitehorse Elementary School. Department of education spokeswoman Michele Royle said that grief counselors were going to be present at the school on Wednesday.

Teacher, Mother, and Friend

Colleagues and friends were mourning the deaths of Théorêt and her daughter.

“It was devastating. I just, I just couldn’t believe it at first,” Verena Koenig, friend of Théorêt, told CTV.

“She was so full of love and amazing,” Koenig said. “She was so happy to have a baby and being a mom.”

She described her friend and Roesholt as “experienced bush people” and said they’d been trapping in the area for the past three years. Authorities said they’d been there for about three months before the attack.

One commenter on Yukon News said that her daughter and son were taught by Théorêt. “She was [a] very nice teacher,” Goldy Brar wrote.

According to the Weather Wool website, Gjermund Roesholt is a lifelong outdoorsman who often works as a guide. It lists his specialties as hunting, guiding, gear testing, wild foods, and cold-weather comfort.

“Gjermund has been a formal tester for several companies, beginning in his native Norway, and his feedback is remarkably precise and detailed. His clothes must handle a wide variety of weather conditions, including wet cold. And his gear must be absolutely silent and reliable. That Gjermund would purchase WeatherWool for his own professional use is a great compliment to us,” the clothing website stated.

Bear Attacks

Encounters with bears can be frequent in the Yukon, with conservation officers trying to keep the animals and humans separate.

Conservation Officer Ken Knutson told CKRW that officers typically kill about 38 bears, including eight grizzly bears, a year.

Sometimes bears are attracted to people’s yards where there are sources of food such as chickens.

“In other cases, this is bears that are hungry, and they’re investigating anything that might offer them a potential source of food, and if that’s a remote camp or your backyard they may check it out,” he said.

Fatal attacks are rare though. The last one in Yukon appears to be Jean-François Pagé, a 28-year-old who was mauled to death while staking mineral claims in 2006 after he walked past a bear den containing a mother and two cubs.

From NTD News

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