Woman Killed in Bear Attack While Speaking on the Phone With Her Father
OutdoorHub Editor: Keenan Crow 08.26.20
A woman was brutally attacked by a black bear in the province of Saskatchewan last week, and her father says he was on the phone with her when it happened.
Stephanie Blais, 44, was with her husband, Curtis, and two young children at a remote family cabin in northern Saskatchewan when a problem with the cabin’s water supply prompted Stephanie to contact her father on a satellite phone.
“She called me to tell me that the water line hadn’t been working and that her husband had fixed it. She then told her son, Eli, to run inside and grab an antenna,” Hubert Esquirol explained to a local radio station.
Esquirol said those were the last words he heard his daughter say. The next thing he heard over the phone was distorted gurgling sounds, according to the station.
“I stayed on the line for a few minutes before I hung up and tried calling again,” he said. “The sounds were very disturbing. An attack crossed my mind but attacks are one in a million.”
Then, Esquirol received a call from Curtis, who told him 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.”
According to the report, Blais’ nine-year-old son Eli witnessed the entire attack from a window inside the cabin.
Apparently, this is the first time the family has had any sort of trouble with bears around the cabin, despite them always being around.
“We never leave any food around, we have never given them a reason to stay. There has never been any provoked bears or any that seemed angry. They would always run off,” Esquirol said.
After speaking with a conservation officer, it was determined the bear was unprovoked in the attack, and the bear’s stomach was found full of blueberries. So what could have triggered the bear to attack?
“Curtis handled the situation extremely well,” he said, according to the station. “It could have been so much worse. The children could have been near her at the time of the attack.”