Stephanie Blais Esquirol Saskatchewan, Canada woman mauled to death by black bear outside family cabin at McKie Lake, Buffalo Narrows in unprovoked attack.
A Canadian woman was fatally mauled by a black bear while outside her family’s cabin while on the phone with her father. The ‘incident’ is reported to have occurred as the woman’s 9 year old son was inside the house.
Stephanie Blais, 44, was killed on Thursday after she was attacked by the black bear outside the cabin at McKie Lake, near Buffalo Narrows, CKOM reports.
At the time of the mauling, the Saskatchewan woman was on the phone with her father.
‘Stephanie and I were talking over her satellite phone,’ her father, Hubert Esquirol, said.
‘She called me to tell me that the waterline hadn’t been working and that her husband had fixed it. She then told her son, Eli, to run inside and grab an antenna.’
The bear wouldn’t let go so he shot the bear until it let go
Those were the last words he heard his daughter speak. He soon heard distorted gurgling sounds. The attack was the first fatal bear attack in Saskatchewan since 1983 reports ctvnews.
‘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.’
Blais’ husband, Curtis, called the worried father back less than 10 minutes later.
‘He called me and told me that 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.’
Eli, Blais’ nine-year-old son, saw the unfolding scene from inside the cabin.
The woman’s father was surprised by the attack as bears have always been around the property but have never presented a problem before. The father said he believes his daughter never heard the bear come up behind her.
‘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,’ he said.
Esquirol had just been at the cabin a week before his daughter had her trip.
A conservation officer told the father that the bear was unprovoked in its attack.
‘Stephanie would have been in the bears’ sight. She had her back turned. She didn’t see it,’ Esquirol said.
The bear’s stomach was found full of berries leading the officer to believe that the bear was not hungry.
‘Curtis handled the situation extremely well,’ Esquirol said. ‘It could have been so much worse. The children could have been near her at the time of the attack.’
A GoFundMe has been launched for Curtis and the children. As of Tuesday night it had raised $57,395 of a $15,000 goal.
‘Our Stephanie had a zeal for life next to no one else. She was the most loving and passionate mother, who always spoke of how blessed she was to be able to be home and raise her children,’ her cousin, Jane Rusbridge, said in the post.
‘These were her most precious days. She was free spirited, and loved the earth. She shared this with anyone who crossed her path. Her joy, passion, love, compassion, wisdom and selflessness was felt by anyone who had the joy of meeting Stephanie.’
Stephanie’s father said his daughter was well-educated with degrees in human justice and a master’s degree in elementary education and well-travelled with as many as 37 countries on her passport. She taught school in Taiwan and Kuwait, lived in a mission in Guatemala for nine months and learned to speak Spanish, and worked at the United Nations commission for human rights in Geneva.
The mother leaves behind a husband & two children, Elie, 9, and Uma, 2.