Claudia Huber, Yukon woman, killed in bear attack

Claudia Huber, from the Teslin, Yukon area, was killed by a bear Saturday.

Claudia Huber, who operated an adventure tour company, died Saturday

Claudia Huber, right, died after an incident involving a bear in the Teslin, Yukon area Saturday. (Facebook)

A woman from the Teslin, Yukon area has been killed by a bear. 

Claudia Huber, who was in her early 40s, was taken to the Teslin Community Health Centre, a 50-kilometre trip, by her husband, who told officials about the incident.

It's not clear whether she had already died by the time he got her to the centre. 

Huber and Matthias Liniger operate Breath of Wilderness, a year-round adventure touring company. The company website includes a German translation.

The officer of Yukon's chief coroner said the incident happened off the South Canol Road, in the Johnson's Crossing area, late in the morning or early in the afternoon Saturday. 

Dave Keenan, who lives in the area off the Alaska Highway, told CBC News that he had a strange encounter with a grizzly in his yard just a few days ago.

"I tried to chase him away," he said, adding it refused to leave even after he fired a couple of shots at it. An air horn finally got the job done.

It's not known whether the bear Keenan saw was the one that killed Huber.

Coroner Kirsten Macdonald has ordered an autopsy.

The incident has shaken the close-knit community, said Kim Hadden, who works at the Yukon Motel and Restaurant in Teslin.

 "Everyone is just quiet and keeping to themselves," she said. "It's quieter than usual.

"They don’t know why – they don’t understand. Everyone keeps together like one big family, so when something happens to one person then it affects everybody."

This isn't the first death in the North involving a bear this year.

Last month, Kenton Novotny, 53, was charged and struck by a grizzly bear while on a hunting trip in Norman Wells, N.W.T.  Friends reported Novotny had just killed a moose when the bear "came out of nowhere." Novotny died on the scene. 

The most recent killing by a grizzly bear in Yukon happened in 2006 near Ross River. 

Jean-Francois Pagé, 28, was staking mining claims when he unknowingly walked by a den that was home to a sow and two cubs. At the time, RCMP said Pagé was probably mauled by the mother, who was trying to protect her young. 

Officials believe the bear involved in Saturday's incident has been killed and that there was "no risk of another incident."

The coroner's office, along with the territory's Department of Environment and RCMP, continue to investigate Huber's death. They expect to provide an update Monday.

Breath of the Wilderness, which Huber helped run, is an adventure company that operates in all seasons. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)


  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the man in the lead photograph. It also incorrectly spelled the names of Dave Keenan and Matthias Liniger.
    Oct 20, 2014 7:44 AM CT