A Canadian woman talking on a phone at her remote cabin was killed by a black bear – while her dad heard the attack on the other end of the line, according to a report.
Stephanie Blais, 44, was targeted by the animal after she walked outside of her family’s cabin in Saskatchewan, western Canada, last Thursday to call her dad, Hubert Esquirol, on a satellite phone, he told 650 CKOM radio.
“She told her son, Eli, to run inside and grab an antenna,” Mr Esquirol said – recalling how the next thing he heard was distorted gargling sounds.
“I stayed on the line for a few minutes before I hung up and tried calling again …. The sounds were very disturbing. An attack crossed my mind but attacks are one in a million.”
Stephanie’s husband, Curtis Blais, then called 10 minutes’ later with the devastating news that she had just been killed.
He reportedly said that the mauling was witnessed by their nine-year-old son Eli just after he went inside the cabin in the Buffalo Narrows region.
“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,” Mr Esquirol said.
His son-in-law gave her CPR but there was no pulse, Mr Esquirol said.
“Stephanie would have been in the bear’s sight. She had her back turned. She didn’t see it,” Mr Esquirol said.
“It could have been so much worse. The children could have been near her at the time of the attack,” he told the station.
The mum also had a two-year-old daughter, Uma, the family told CTV.
“On the surface they’re doing well, but I’m old enough to know that this is going to last for a lifetime,” Mr Esquirol told CTV News.
An online fundraiser to help the family cover funeral costs had reached almost $75,000 by Thursday – five times the $15,000 target.
“The investigation after showed this was an unprovoked and surprise predatory attack by an old male bear,” the fundraiser said, saying the family was “wilderness and bear trained”, the cabin was “meticulous” with “nothing that attracted or provoked the bear to attack”.
It’s the first fatal bear attack in Saskatchewan since 1983, CTV said.
This article originally appeared on NY Post and was reproduced here with permission