UPDATE: Black bear encounter leads to sudden death

Update 1: The victim has been identified as Catherine Sweatt-Mueller of Maple Plains, Minnesota.

RED PINE ISLAND – RAINY LAKE, ON) – Shortly after 6:30 pm on September 1, 2019 members of the Rainy River District Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were advised of a call for service at Red Pine Island on Rainy Lake.  Officers were advised that the complainant believed her daughter, aged 62 was attacked by a black bear.  The female had gone to check on her dogs and had not returned.

Officers attended the scene and conducted an investigation.  The female was located in close vicinity to a black bear and was evidently deceased based on the observations made by the officers.

The black bear was still in the area and was dispatched by officers.  There were two other black bears at the scene that were a threat to officers during the investigation.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is currently determining the next steps and will seek OPP assistance as required.

The incident took place on a secluded island with no other residence.  There was not a significant risk to public safety and the members of the public on the Island were made aware of the incident.

For more information regarding Bears in Ontario visit the MNRF website at Bear Safety website

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