A mother and her baby were tragically killed in the Yukon after a starving grizzly bear attacked them out of desperation. 37-year-old Valerie Theoret and her 10-month-old daughter Adele Roesholt were outside of their cabin near Einarson Lake in November when they were mauled by a grizzly bear in a rare attack.
According to the National Post, Theoret’s partner and Adele’s father, Giermund Roesholt had been away at the time of the attack. Roesholt left the cabin sometime in the morning to inspect one of the couple's traplines. It was during his return trip that Roesholt first discovered the bear’s tracks, which became visible about one kilometre away from the family’s cabin.
Not immediately alarmed by the tracks, Roesholt returned home to an empty cabin and began running a new trapline nearby. The father had travelled just a few hundred metres from the site when he was charged by the bear.
Unlike his family, Roesholt was prepared for the attack, reports the National Post. According to investigators, the father managed to kill the bear, shooting it a total of four times. It was only after the bear lay dead that he discovered that the bear had also killed Theoret and his 10-month-old daughter. Roesholt did the only thing he could - he covered his wife and daughter and sent out a distress signal.
"The attack appeared sudden. All evidence suggests Valerie did not have time to react. This was clear evidence of predatory behaviour," explained Yukon Chief Conservation Officer Gordon Hitchcock to Omineca Express.
Predatorial attacks are premeditated. They occur when the animal stalks its prey for food and approaches them silently. According to Hitchcock, it is extremely rare for bears to seek humans as prey, which only makes the attack on the mother and daughter all the more tragic; they had no chance of survival.