26-year-old woman killed by bear in northern Alberta

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Witnesses on the scene described a black bear as the animal behind a fatal attack near Swan Hills, Alta., on Saturday.  (CBC - image credit)
Witnesses on the scene described a black bear as the animal behind a fatal attack near Swan Hills, Alta., on Saturday. (CBC - image credit)

A 26-year-old woman from Peers, Alta., is dead after a reported bear attack in northern Alberta on Saturday, RCMP say.

Swan Hills RCMP received a report of a bear mauling just after 3 p.m., spokesperson Cpl. Troy Savinkoff said Monday.

Witnesses on the scene said a black bear was the animal behind the attack.

"Some effort was put in to try to scare the bear off," Savinkoff said. "And ultimately, the witness was able to secure her and airlift her on their helicopter out of the area to get them to emergency services."

Savinkoff told CBC Monday night that the woman worked for a helicopter company providing transportation for tree planters in the area.

The woman received medical attention at the Swan Hills Airport but was declared dead on scene, Savinkoff said.

RCMP are working with Alberta Fish and Wildlife to determine the details of the attack, Savinkoff said.

A spokesperson for Alberta Fish and Wildlife said the officers were called in by local RCMP around 4:30 p.m.

Fish and Wildlife officers are investigating and have set up a trail camera and traps in the area.

The spokesperson said samples were taken from the victim's clothing to build a DNA profile of the attacking bear.

Three black bears have been located by wildlife officers nearby. Officers are waiting on DNA results to identify if any are the offending bear.

Swan Hills is located about 220 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

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