A mother and her 10-month-old baby have been killed in a grizzly bear attack near their cabin in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
School teacher Valerie Theoret, 37, was staying in the region’s remote Einarson Lake — 400km north of Whitehorse, the territory’s capital — with partner Gjermund Roesholt and their baby daughter, Adele Roesholt, when the attack occurred.
Ms Theoret and Mr Roesholt had planned to spend some of the months of Ms Theoret’s maternity leave at their Yukon Territory trap line — which is a parcel of land the Government leases out to people who wish to trap animals for fur.
Mr Roesholt told police he was about to return to his family at 3:00pm on Monday after laying traps for game about 100 metres from the family’s cabin, when he was charged by a grizzly bear.
In a press release, the Yukon Coroner’s office said Mr Roesholt shot and killed the bear before returning to the cabin to find his partner and daughter dead outside.
Police were called to the scene just after 3:45pm by Mr Roesholt, who is an experienced hunter and trapper.
The coroner’s office said it believed Ms Theoret and her daughter went out for a walk sometime in the early morning or early afternoon, when they were attacked by the same bear.
Speaking to CBC, family friend Remy Beaupre said: “It’s a big, big blow. Everybody is totally devastated right now.”
“Lots of our friends are gathering tonight to mourn a little bit and support each other a little bit,” Mr Beaupre said.
The Yukon Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the coroner’s office are investigating the deaths.
In a statement, the Yukon Department of Education said Ms Theoret would be missed by staff and students.
Fatal bear attacks are rare in Canada.