A bear in Canada killed a woman on Thursday while she was speaking on the phone with her father. The woman’s 9-year-old son watched the tragic incident unfold from inside the family’s cabin.
Saskatchewan police say the attack happened in a very remote part of the province. Stephanie Blais, 44, was at her family’s cabin at McKie Lake near Buffalo Narrows with her husband and son.
Blais’ father, Hubert Esquirol, spoke with 650 CKOM about the attack. He says his daughter called to ask about an issue with the house.
“Stephanie and I were talking over her satellite phone,” he said. “She called me to tell me that the waterline hadn’t been working and that her husband had fixed it. She then told her son, Eli, to run inside and grab an antenna.”
According to Esquirol, this conversation marked the last words from his daughter. Moments later, he heard distorted gurgling sounds over the phone. He says an attack crossed his mind but seemed highly unlikely.
“I stayed on the line for a few minutes before I hung up and tried calling again,” Esquirol said. “The sounds were very disturbing. An attack crossed my mind but attacks are one in a million.”
Less than 10 minutes later, Esquirol received a call from Blais’ husband, Curtis. “He called me and told me that Stephanie had been attacked by a bear. The bear wouldn’t let go so he shot the bear until it let go,” Esquirol said. “He then proceeded to give her CPR but she had no pulse.”
Eli, Blais’ 9-year-old son, witnessed the attack from inside the family’s cabin. According to Esquirol, he says the family took precautions as not to attract bears.
“We never leave any food around, we have never given them a reason to stay,” he said. “There has never been any provoked bears or any that seemed angry. They would always run off.”
Esquirol says a conservation officer told him the bear attacked Blais without being provoked. “Stephanie would have been in the bears’ sight. She had her back turned. She didn’t see it,” Esquirol said.
The conservation officers remain unaware as to why the bear attacked. The officer reportedly told Esquirol the bear likely was not hungry as they found its stomach full of blueberries.
Esquirol praised the way Blais’ husband conducted himself under the duress of the shocking situation. “Curtis (Blais’ husband) handled the situation extremely well,” he said. “It could have been so much worse. The children could have been near her at the time of the attack.”
The family set up a GoFundMe page to provide support for Blais’ husband and their children.
[H/T Fox News]