Grizzly chases couple from home and kills wife


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Grizzly chases couple from home and kills wife
QMI Agency
First posted: Monday, October 20, 2014 12:38 PM EDT | Updated: Monday, October 20, 2014 12:44 PM EDT
A grizzly bear killed a woman outside her home near Teslin, Yukon, after climbing through the window and chasing her and her husband outside.
On Saturday morning, at about 11 a.m., Claudia Suzanna Huber, 42, was in her home when her husband went outside to quiet their dog.
That's when he spotted the reason for the dog's barking: an adult male grizzly on the property.
As he ran inside to get a rifle, the bear climbed through a window.
"Ms. Huber and her spouse ran outside the home, at which time the bear pursued them," the coroner said in a release Monday.
Huber's husband shot and killed the bear, but not before the bear mauled his wife.
She was rushed to a medical centre, but died at 12:10 p.m.
An autopsy is scheduled for this week, the coroner said.
Teslin is 175 km southeast of Whitehorse.
Grizzly chases couple from home and kills wife | Canada | News | Toronto Sun
'Claudia was my soulmate' says husband of grizzly attack victim
By Michael Platt, Calgary Sun
First posted: Monday, October 20, 2014 09:56 PM EDT | Updated: Monday, October 20, 2014 10:55 PM EDT
She was the love of his life — and until Saturday, when a predatory grizzly bear invaded their Yukon cabin and fatally mauled his wife, Matthias Liniger says the home he shared with Claudia Huber in the Canadian wilderness was their personal paradise.
“Claudia was my soulmate,” said Liniger, speaking publicly for the first time since the attack.
“She was the woman who could handle a chainsaw and cut trees, and then she came home, and prepared herself, and you could go out with her, and she was the most stunning woman you have ever seen.”
It was Saturday morning around 11 a.m. when Kona, a malamute owned by Huber and Liniger started to bark a warning — and when Liniger went outside to calm the dog and investigate, he immediately spotted the fast approaching grizzly.
Liniger went back inside to fetch his rifle — but the grizzly was determined, and undeterred by the large guard dog, the bruin circled the cabin to a rear window, and then climbed inside.
The couple immediately fled the home, but the bear took chase, quickly catching up to Huber and viciously attacking her.
Liniger took aim and killed the grizzly, but his wife was badly injured by the bear — and despite a desperate drive to the nearest health centre, some 50 km away in Teslin, the 42-year-old woman didn’t survive.
Huber was pronounced dead just after noon, leaving behind the man she’d followed into a life of adventure.
“We said if we are going to come to Canada we want to live in a place where you can’t see any other lights, except the stars,” said Liniger.
That was northern Canada, and eight years ago, the couple moved from relatively civilized Switzerland to the tiny hamlet of Johnsons Crossing, located about 136 kilometres southeast of Whitehorse.
There, the couple found their cabin in the woods, bought a puppy who grew into the giant malamute named Kona, and started a travel business catering to like-minded Europeans, who maybe weren’t quite ready to give up all modern conveniences for a life with “loons whose cries sound a beautiful song over a fog covered lake.”
Looking at the photographs on their Facebook page, the three of them — Liniger, Huber and Kona — look deeply content with their lives in the middle of nowhere, where the snow was often deep and the silence thick.
Liniger says the isolation was bliss.
“It was our paradise here,” he said.
They loved life in the Yukon enough to want to stay forever, Liniger says one their proudest moments came when they both received the parchment at the end of a ceremony declaring them Canadian citizens.
“Last fall we finally got our Canadian citizenship. She was so proud,” said Liniger.
They weren’t naive, despite the apparent calm around them: “Nothing ever happened here. It is a very peaceful place,” said Liniger.
But there was that possibility, being surrounded by the wild, that something like Saturday’s bear attack could someday happen.
“When it happens, it’s so hard, you know? But we knew we were living in the wilderness,” he said.
Investigators say the bear was a large older male, weighing a thin 170 kg, but not starving, and the animal will undergo a necropsy to try and determine what made it uncharacteristically aggressive and predatory.
Nothing at the couple’s cabin seemed likely to attract wildlife — officers praised the wildlife-proofed property, where no food or even a barbecue was left as a potential lure for animals.
Huber was the fourth Canadian bear attack fatality of 2014, in a season where there have been at least as many non-fatal attacks, including the mauling of a hunter near Fernie on Oct. 12.
On Monday, members of the Teslin Tlingit First Nation, where both Liniger and Huber worked, held a prayer circle in the woman’s honour, and Liniger says the whole community has been offering nothing but sympathy and support. “Everybody loved Claudia,” he said.
On Twitter: @SUNMichaelPlatt
Claudia Huber is pictured with her husband Matthias Liniger and the couple's dog Kona. Facebook photo

'Claudia was my soulmate' says husband of grizzly attack victim | Platt | Canada