Lanigan woman escapes bear attack after husband fights off animal

News source from CTV News

Casadi Schroeder says it’s a “miracle” she’s alive.

The 33-year-old, who was left with 34 staples in her legs after she was attacked by a black bear in Meadow Lake Provincial Park on June 10, said she was told by doctors she would most likely be dead if the bear had caused any damage above her waist.

“I just feel incredibly grateful,” Schroeder recently told CTV News.

She and her family, who are from Lanigan, were in the park for the weekend, camping at Jeanette Lake. She and her husband, Brad, were guest speakers at the Bethel Gospel Camp.

Schroeder said she and her family first encountered the bear the night they arrived to the park.

Her eight-year-old son pointed out the bear, which was hiding underneath their elevated cabin. She said she slowly walked toward her son, picked him up and walked away. Other campers were throwing rocks at the bear, scaring it away, she said.

Her son woke up June 10 — the morning of the attack — with news the bear had returned. Schroeder said she saw the bear pushing against the cabin’s front door before it walked over to a side window and started clawing to get in.

It managed to “easily” paw right through the screen, according to Schroeder, but was scared away when her husband knocked on the window.

Once the bear was gone, Schroeder said she was worried about the other campers and wanted to warn them that a bear was in the area. She said that there was no cell service and that she was not able to call or text her friends, so she decided to walk to the next cabin.

“I told my husband, ‘Look, I’m just going to go out. I’m not going to throw rocks or be aggressive, because I’m by myself, but I’m just going to make sure no one else gets hurt,” she said.

But when she rounded the corner, the bear was there.

“As soon as the bear saw me, he just turned around and looked at me.”

Schroeder said, all of a sudden, the bear came running toward her. It grabbed on to her and started “shredding” her legs.

“He would just bite in, and it just felt like he was biting so deep that it was going to my bones,” she explained. “I just felt like my legs were being eaten alive, and he would just bite in and he would rip, and bite in and rip.”

She thought she was going to die.

“In that moment, I had a lot of peace and I was like, ‘Yeah, Jesus, I’m ready to go,’” she said.

Her husband, however, wasn’t going to lose her. Brad saw the attack through the window and immediately jumped in to fight off the bear.

“The next thing I remember is my husband’s foot flying towards its head,” Schroeder said.

She said she remembers her husband kicking and punching the bear, as well as him telling her to run.

She somehow managed to escape and ran to the closest cabin, banging on the door for help. Her husband was able to make it inside the cabin as well.

“He turned to me at that moment and was like, ‘Cas, I’m going to our kids.’”

She said he bolted and ran to their cabin where their three children were alone. The bear clawed at his hip, but Brad was able to make it to the kids with minimal injuries.

The bear has since been put down, according to Ministry of Environment conservation officer Kevin Harrison.

“We were able to trap a bear that evening,” he said. “The bear was put down and sent away for testing. The results came back that the bear we caught in the trap was the bear in the attack.”

Black bear sightings in northern Saskatchewan are not uncommon, according to Harrison. He said he advises anyone who sees a black bear to stay calm, make loud noises and stay far away.

In the event of an attack, “defend yourself any way possible,” he said.

“That means a rock, a fist, a stick, anything you got to fight that bear off.”

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