On Friday, a 28-year-old Whitehorse man was killed by a protective mother grizzly while staking a mining claim near Ross River.
“I can’t recall an incident like this within the last 30 or 40 years,” said Environment spokesman Dennis Senger.
Around 1:30 p.m., Jean-Francois Page was flagging a staking claim for a mining company approximately 30 kilometers east of Ross River when he came within 4.5 metres of a bear den that contained two cubs, according to a RCMP release.
Police believe the mother killed Page instantly while trying to protect her young.
How the bear killed Page has not been determined, said Const. Brian White of the Ross River detachment.
Page’s body was flown to Vancouver on Monday for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
The bear was 25 years old, perfectly healthy and there was nothing unusual about her behaviour, said Senger.
It was a defence response rather than a predatorial response, he said.
Ross River police officers shot the grizzly out of safety concerns.
The cubs, less than three months old, were also shot. Environment officials decided they could not survive on their own in the wild.
“There is some confusion (about) who (Page) was working for,” said White.
Page had no wife or children. His immediate family lives in Quebec.