Grizzly bear broke into house before killing Yukon woman
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Grizzly bear broke into house before killing woman

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Earlier this month, Claudia Huber succumbed to her injuries after a grizzly bear attacked her outside of her home in Teslin, Yukon.

According to a news release, the bear entered her home through a window, then chased Huber and her husband, Matthias Liniger, forcing them to run outside.

The bear caught up with Huber and attacked her.

“Huber suffered serious injuries, the full extent of which will be revealed through an autopsy,” said Yukon coroner Kirsten Macdonald in a statement.

Liniger drove Huber to the Teslin Community Health Centre, a 50-kilometer trip. An hour after the attack, 42-year-old Huber was pronounced dead.

The male bear came onto their rural property around 11 a.m., alarming the couple’s dog. When Liniger went outside to check on the dog, he saw the bear approaching. He immediately ran back inside to grab his rifle, but the bear was already climbing through a window. The bear began pursuing the couple, leading to the attack outside of their home. Liniger shot and killed the bear on-site. Officials say the grizzly was old and underweight, weighing just 373 lbs. Healthy bears usually weight around 450 to 500 lbs.

It’s not yet known why the bear approached the house. Ryan Hennings, a conservation officer, told the CBC that from the preliminary investigation, “they saw no attractants at the house we would commonly see that may invite wildlife or bears to a property. We didn’t even see a barbecue on the deck.”

Huber and Liniger, who operated a Breath of Wilderness, a year-round adventure touring company that take small groups hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling, kept their home free of attractants that appeal to bears.

Hennings says this kind of attack is very rare, noting, “it’s even more rare to have it occur in a residence where people live.”

And yet, there have been other bear encounters in the area in recent weeks.

A few days before Huber’s attack, Dave Keenan, who lives in the area, discovered a grizzly in his yard. “I tried to chase him away,” Keenan told the CBC. He fired a couple of shots to spook the bear, but it took an air horn to finally scare it away.

And last month, 53-year-old Kenton Novotny was killed by a grizzly bear while on a hunting trip with friends in Norman Wells, N.W.T.

Huber’s death has shook the small, tight-knit community of Teslin.

“Everyone is just quiet and keeping to themselves,” local Kim Hadden told the CBC. “It’s quieter than usual.”