Black bear kills woman at oilsands

(QMI Agency, file)

(QMI Agency, file)

Catherine Griwkowsky, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

EDMONTON -- A black bear killed a Suncor employee at the oilsands main plant Wednesday before being shot and killed by Mounties.

The large male black bear attacked the employee shortly after 2 p.m. at the Suncor Energy oilsands main plant, about 25 km north of Fort McMurray, Alta., RCMP say.

The identity of the victim is not being released pending next of kin notification, but there are reports the victim is female.

Wood Buffalo RCMP shot and killed the bear, Cpl. George Cameron said, adding Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers were on the way.

"In a situation like this, we have to determine and make sure no one else will get hurt, no other fatalities will be as a result of this bear," he said. "It was more a safety issue for everyone else in the area."

The employee was declared dead at the scene. No one else was hurt.

Cameron said some companies have more than 50,000 employees on site, not specifically referencing the site.

The Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Fish and Wildlife Division is now investigating.

Sneh Seetal, spokesman with Suncor, said employees receive regular wildlife training for employees and ask employees and visitors to report wildlife sightings.

"We are shocked and saddened by this situation," she said. "We don't know why it happened. We are working with the Fish and Wildlife Division of the Alberta Environment Sustainable Resource Development and the RCMP to determine what happened in this tragic situation."


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