Two Canadian women mauled by bear during fall nature hike
Four hikers were returning from a trip to photograph the changing leaves in British Columbia when they were attacked
Two Canadian women are recovering after being attacked by a black bear on their way home from a hike to take in the fall colors in British Columbia this week.
Leosette Canoy and her niece Wenneli went for a hike with their friend Analyn Shurtliff Bartolome and her teenage son on Monday October 3. The four took a trail on Bear Mountain (opens in new tab), which is a popular destination for hiking, birding, and showshoeing. Leosette Canoy's husband, Gary Hansen, told CBC News (opens in new tab) that the group were "looking for nice spots to take fall pictures with the autumn leaves". They know the area well, and often go quad-biking there.
The four hikers turned back at around 7pm as the light began to fade, when Bartolome's son heard a scuffling noise. However, he didn't see anything, so the group continued to the trailhead. Soon after he heard the noise again, and turned to find a large male black bear charging towards them.
“Analyn’s teenage son punched the bear in an attempt to scare it off, this did not deter the bear," wrote a friend on a GoFundMe page (opens in new tab) set up to help pay for childcare, travel, and lost income after the incident.
Unlike brown bears or grizzlies, black bears will eat carrion, so you should never play dead if one attacks. Unfortunately the animal was not deterred and attacked Bartolome, seriously injuring her and Canoy, who tried to protect her.
Wenneli and Bartolome's son managed to escape and call 911. When Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officers (RCMP) arrived, they found the bear circling its two victims, seemingly "guarding" them.
The bear was euthanized, and the two women taken to hospital for treatment, where they remain in serious condition.
- What to do if you meet a bear: a guide to wildlife safety
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).