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The third Canadian has been mauled to death by a bear in three months.
The latest fatality was to a 26-year-old woman in Alberta, Western Canada, early this week. She was working for a helicopter company transporting professional tree planters when she was attacked by a black bear near Swan Hills, a small village surrounded by sub-alpine forests.
Reports state that witnesses chased the dangerous animal away, allowing a colleague of the injured woman to carry her to a helicopter.
She was then transported to a local airport and was met by paramedics – who pronounced her dead at the scene.
“Fish and wildlife officers are investigating the incident and have set up a trail camera and traps in the area,” spokeswoman for Alberta’s Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General told The Times.
“Officers took samples from the victim’s clothing, which are being analyzed to create a DNA profile of the offending bear.”
Three black bears have been located near the site of the fatality, with tests being done to ascertain if any of them are linked to the attack.
Bears who attack and kill in this way are often hunted down and euthanized.
The 26-year-old woman is one of three to be murdered by a bear within the last three months. In May, an instructor at the University of Calgary was killed by a bear while jogging near his home. Within just a few days, a female grizzly bear with cubs killed a woman during her evening walk in Water Valley, 60 miles north of Calgary, Alberta.
It is thought that this up-tick in bear attacks has partly resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen more Canadians go into the wild.
Canadian scientists have also found that the number of bears in Alberta has doubled since 2005.
Bears are not a rarity in Western Canada. In case of an encounter, people arm themselves with sprays, bins are locked, and the public is educated on what to do should you come face-to-face with a grizzly.
However, fatalities average at one a year, making this three in three-month number an alarming statistic.