A black bear that may have learned to prey on humans killed a woman and injured her husband at a provincial park in northern Ontario.
Police and wildlife officials were on the hunt for the wounded bear Wednesday and campers have been ordered out of the back country of Missinaibi Lake Provincial Park.
Jacqueline Perry and Mark Jordan, both 30, were attacked at a campsite in the provincial park about 80 kilometres north of Chapleau.
Ontario Provincial Police said that while the bear was attacking Perry, her husband managed to stab it with a Swiss Army knife in a frantic effort to keep it from dragging his wife into the woods.
Perry was a family doctor at Grandview Medical Centre in Cambridge, Ont.
The couple were on a two-week holiday, camping and kayaking at a remote campsite when the black bear attacked.
OPP Const. Karen Farand said after fighting off the bear, the injured Jordan carried his wife to their kayak and started paddling to the nearest campsite. He yelled for help, and a father and son from Pennsylvania heard him and took Perry into their boat.
They soon flagged down another boat with a doctor from North Carolina and an off-duty police officer on board. The doctor tried to treat Perry while the boat continued on to the park office about 10 kilometres away, but Perry succumbed to her injuries.
"I've lived here all my life and this is a first for me," said Farand. "I can't even imagine what [the couple] went through."
Keith Scott, a bear expert with the Ministry of Natural Resources, said such attacks are very rare.
"There's only been four fatalities in Ontario through black bears dating back to about 1978," he said. "This one in this particular case, it's early in the investigation, but it appears to be a predatory-type bear. These bears have learned to and often prey on humans."
There have been a number of bear attacks across Canada this summer.
A Manitoba man fended off a black bear in early September, just one week after a black bear killed another man in the province. There have been four grizzly bear attacks in Alberta since June, including a fatal one on a female jogger near Canmore. And a woman in British Columbia was mauled by a bear in May.