Grizzly mauls Teslin woman to death

A 42-year-old Teslin woman is dead after a fatal bear attack over the weekend. An adult male grizzly came onto Claudia Huber’s South Canol Road property.

A 42-year-old Teslin woman is dead after a fatal bear attack over the weekend.

An adult male grizzly came onto Claudia Huber’s South Canol Road property near Johnson’s Crossing Saturday morning, according to a release from Yukon’s chief coroner.

Huber’s husband left the home to calm their dog and saw a grizzly approaching. He then returned to the house to get a rifle.

The grizzly then entered the home through a window, according to the release.

Huber and her husband ran from the home and the grizzly followed them.

The grizzly mauled Huber. Her husband shot the bear dead.

He drove his wife to the Teslin Medical centre, where 25 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation failed to revive her. She was pronounced dead at 12:10 p.m.

The Yukon Coroner’s Service has ordered an autopsy, scheduled to be performed this week.

Conservation officers have completed a necropsy on the bear.

He was a very old grizzly bear, probably more than 25 years, said Ryan Hennings with Environment Yukon.

The bear was underweight, at about 375 pounds, but not starving.

“With the size of the frame of this bear, it should have weighed about 450 to 500 pounds, to have the energy reserves to hibernate,” said Hennings.

“He was hungry and he was looking for food, and that’s why he was out and about still.”

The bear had no collar, ear tag or lip tattoo, he said.

There was no evidence that the bear had encountered wildlife officials before, or had gotten into any previous trouble.

“We have no information that it broke into other residences or caused any issues previously,” said Hennings.

“At this point, it seems to be a random event, a random encounter.”

Fatal bear maulings are quite rare in the Yukon, said Hennings.

The last occurred in 2006, when exploration worker Jean-Francois Page stumbled on a grizzly den with two cubs inside. The mother bear attacked and killed Page.

“That was a defensive bear attack that resulted in the death of that worker,” said Hennings.

Hennings reminded Yukoners that bears can still be out and about this time of year, and they may be hungry.

“It is late in the season, so at this time of year it’s usually bears that are less than prime condition, maybe in poor condition like this bear.”

Keeping food sources out of the reach of animals and taking precautions when in the wilderness are important steps, he said.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at jronson@yukon-news.com

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