WHITEHORSE — A grizzly bear has killed a woman and her 10-month-old baby in the Yukon.
The Yukon Coroner's Service says 37-year-old Valerie Theoret and infant Adele Roesholt died in the attack.
Bear shot dead
The service says in a release that it received notice of the deaths in the Einarson Lake area near the Northwest Territories border.
It says RCMP received a call at about 3:45 p.m. on Monday from a trapper, identified as Gjermund Roesholt.
The service says he was charged by a grizzly bear about 100 metres from a cabin he shared with his wife and infant daughter.
It says he shot the bear dead, but when he returned to his cabin, he found the bodies of his wife and child just outside.
"It appears they had been out for a walk when the incident occurred," says coroner Heather Jones in the release.
The family had been in the area for the last three months, trapping around Einarson Lake, the coroner says.
Expert says thorough investigation is needed
Chris Servheen, who was the grizzly bear recovery co-ordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 35 years, says it is sad to see the death of a woman and her child.
But he says that is why it is important to find out why it happened.
Servheen, who has investigated the past eight fatal grizzly bear attacks in the U.S., says it could have been a surprise encounter or a case where a hungry bear was looking for food.
The investigation is ongoing, with Mayo RCMP, Environment Yukon, Yukon Coroner's Service and the RCMP's Forensic Identification Section assisting.
The service extended its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Theoret and her child.
It did not specify where the family originally came from.
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