Three months before the accident, the family abandoned life in the city for the sake of a hut in the woods.
On November 28, Canadian police reported an incident in the sparsely populated Yukon Province, which killed two people. About three o’clock in the afternoon, local hunter Germund Resholt (Gjermund Roesholt) encountered a grizzly at his hut. The bear immediately attacked the man, after which he shot the beast. Entering the house, the Canadian found his 37-year-old wife, Valerie Teore (Valérie Théorêt) and 10-month-old daughter, Adel, torn to pieces.
According to preliminary data, the same bear, who attacked the head of the family, killed an unarmed woman and a child. This happened only three months after the family moved into the wilderness. For the people of Yukon, there is nothing surprising in meeting with bears, who sometimes look to the cities in search of food. However, the case with the Resholt family is amazing – in the last 20 years only three people in the Yukon have killed the grizzlies, although it is in this region that the largest number in the country.
The Resholt family moved to the wilderness from the town of Whitehorse, where his wife Teorus taught French at school. “Of course, this is a tragedy. The fact that her child died with her makes everything worse, ” said the friend of the deceased, Isabel Salsa, in a conversation with The New York Times, who heads Whitehorse for a local public organization for the French-speaking.
The investigation of the tragedy is handled by the Canadian Ministry of the Environment, since animal incidents are under the jurisdiction of the agency. According to investigators, a woman went for a walk with a child when she met a bear. She probably tried to close in the hut, but the animal broke inside. In a conversation with CBC reporters, local hunter Brian Melanson noted that it was clear from the Resholt family that she knew how to behave in the forest. Canadian added that the local community of hunters is ready to provide any assistance in connection with the tragedy.
Resholt grew up in Norway, his father and grandfather taught him to hunt and survive from the age of four. In Whitehorse, he opened a company specializing in hunting craft. In 2015, he received a license to build a hut in the woods in the Yukon – in the application documents, he noted that he was aware of the activity of moose and grizzly in the region.
In the past, Resholt was already engaged in hunting animals for the purpose of sale — for example, he killed beavers and lynxes, and his wife was responsible for the design of the fur product. He coordinated the whole hunting route, on which the man often hunted martens, with the government services. In November, the annual hunting season for most animals, including beavers, foxes and wolverines, started in Yukon. In addition to Resholt, at least 200 people received a license to operate in this area.
The authorities promise to soon publish the results of the autopsy of the dead bear. If it was he who attacked the mother with the child, then his teeth and claws should contain pieces of victims. The Ministry of the Environment also needs to find out why the predator attacked people – because he felt threatened, or regarded people as prey.
The last tragic encounter with a grizzly bear in the Yukon occurred in 2014. Then the bear broke into the hut where a couple of Canadians lived and killed the woman. In 2006, the miner accidentally came too close to the den, and died after the attack of the bear. Another incident occurred in 1996 – a young predator went on a path popular with tourists and came across a woman. She pretended to be dead, in the hope that the beast would lose interest in her, but the animal killed the defenseless.
Canadian bears’ specialist Andy McMullen took the news of the attack on the Resholt family with surprise. According to him, at this time of year, the Canadian grizzlies go to the den and hibernate. “Often unexpected clashes [with people] become the causes of grizzly attacks, ” the expert explained .
McMullen suggested that the grizzlies perceived the killed mother and daughter as prey, so he immediately attacked the arriving Resholt. He added that when meeting with bears you need to move as little as possible and slowly retreat from the beast. But if the predator made it clear that he is preparing for an attack, you need to fight back and shout at him as loudly as possible, add in the Ministry of Environment. The main thing is not to pretend to be dead, since such a tactic will only simplify the task for the bear.