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Bear attacks woman on Old Goulais Bay Road (Updated)

The bear is not afraid, says victim, she was even here when all the cops and ambulance were here
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Chantel Lafleur is still trying to figure out what happened after she was attacked by a bear outside her home on the 600 block of Old Goulais Bay Road Friday night.

“I don’t even think I remember her raising her paw to hit me,” said Lafleur.

She remembers taking her dog - a husky named Jax - out the back door of her house in order to relieve itself sometime after 10 p.m. Lafleur figures she was about 20 feet from the back entrance to her house when she first encountered the bear.

“She gave me a good swat and sent me flying, and I don’t remember nothing,” said Lafleur. “I got cuts on my head, she scratched my back.”

“I can’t even move, my left side is killing me.”

Lafleur says that her 16 year-old daughter called 911 while the bear was on top of her.

“She was on the phone with 911, and they were saying ‘calm down,’” said Lafleur. “She goes, ‘I can’t, the bear is on top of my mother, she’s laying on the ground.’”

Lafleur’s daughter figures that she was knocked out for at least three or four minutes.

Jax was barking and howling at this point, nipping at the bear while it was on top of Lafleur. The bear then walked away from its victim.

“That’s when I came to, and he was close enough with the leash that I could grab his leash off the ground,” Lafleur said. “I just grabbed him and we ran into the house.”

Lafleur says that the appearance of police and paramedics at her house wasn’t enough to make the bear leave the area entirely.

“She’s not afraid, she was even here when all the cops and ambulance were here,” said Lafleur. “She scared the ambulance attendant when he walked out of my house.”

“She’s a scary bear.”

Lafleur left the hospital after being treated for cuts and scratches to her head and back, concerned for the well being of her dog, who had emergency surgery Friday morning.

She’s been trying to put all the pieces of that night together ever since, relying on her daughter’s account of what happened to her.

“I think I was in shock right until yesterday afternoon, then it all started setting in,” she said.

Lafleur now wants residents to know there’s a huge, ‘nasty’ bear lurking around the neighbourhood.

“I’m scared because there’s a lot of kids around here,” Lafleur said.

The full text of a release from Sault Ste. Marie Police Service follows.

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On April 27, 2018 around 11 p.m., a female had taken her dog out in the 600 block of Old Goulais Bay Road while out the mother bear and cubs were in the area.

At some point the female was attacked by the mother bear which caused several puncture wounds to the victim's back as well as cuts to her head.

Family members responded to calls for assistance and the bears ran off.

The victim was transported to Sault Area Hospital by EMS where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. 

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James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for SooToday based in Sault Ste. Marie
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