Published: Fri, September 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Minnesota woman killed by bear on remote Canadian island

Minnesota woman killed by bear on remote Canadian island

Sweatt-Mueller, of Maple Plain, Minnesota, was on holiday earlier this month with her parents at Red Pine Island on Rainy Lake, near the USA border. Police later said they believed they were yearlings, and were threatening toward the officers.

Police said a bear that was near the 62-year-old woman's body was killed and another two were at the scene, posing a threat to officers.

While black bears are common in Ontario, attacks are rare.

Apparently, Sweatt-Mueller had gone to check on her dogs and did not return. The dogs, one of them injured, eventually returned to the cabin, but she didn't. "The victim's mother, who is 84, called police at that point because she was concerned for her daughter's well-being".

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"She was obviously deceased and there was one bear standing over top of her acting aggressively, so it was shot and killed by the officers", Davis said.

On Wednesday, a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry spokesperson said a search for other bears on the island was underway.

Fatal bear attacks in North America are rare, though a man was killed by a brown bear in Canada's remote Northwest Territories two weeks ago, according to The Washington Post. Police noted that the incident took place on a secluded island. The ministry notes "that there are many thousands of interactions between bears and humans in Ontario on an annual basis without conflict".

Red Pine Island is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) northeast of International Falls, Minnesota.

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