Saskatoon couple encounters black bear on recent camping trip to Amisk Lake

Click to play video: 'Sask. couple face unbearable camping experience'
Sask. couple face unbearable camping experience
WATCH: A couple from Saskatoon encountered a medium-sized black bear on a recent trip to Amisk Lake in northeastern Saskatchewan – Aug 4, 2020

“Oh my lord. There is a bear right there.”

That can be heard in a video shot by Melody King on her phone during a recent camping trip to Amisk Lake, in northeastern Saskatchewan.

The lake is roughly 393 km away from Saskatoon.

King says she goes up to the lake every year for vacation. They were in the midst of their stay when on July 29 they met a black bear at their campsite just north of Denare Beach.

The two were planning to make breakfast when they heard a noise in the nearby woods.

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“We were just about to get cleaned up and we heard a thump and a few minutes later the bear emerged from the woods, behind our campsite,” said King.

The bear, medium in size, didn’t run off after King’s boyfriend Nathan stood his ground in an attempt to scare the bear off. But the bear didn’t budge. It seemed determined to snag some food from a nearby picnic table.

King says she called a conservation officer to discuss safety tips and was advised to take off for a couple of hours, leaving the bear alone to move on his way.

The officer told her bears are quite common in the area and the best thing to do is not turn your back, get in your car and leave it alone for a while.

However, when they returned from Flin Flon, Man., two hours later, they found out the bear did also.

“Later we came back to the campsite and my tent was destroyed,” said King.

Read more: Fewer bear sightings expected for rest of summer: Saskatchewan conservation officer

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The officer told King, in this case, the young bear was recently old enough to leave his mother and venture on his own, so the smell of cooking drew it to the campsite using his heightened sense of smell.

King and her boyfriend left the campsite and the destroyed tent behind, travelling to a fishing shack in Flin Flon.

That’s where they ran into a very kind stranger, Crystal Mote. Mote, the frequent visitor to the Lake herself, said when she learned about what had happened, she offered her camper trailer to the pair to sleep in for the night.

“I was very glad to have run into them because they wouldn’t have had a very comfortable stay in the car,” said Mote. “They had all the camping gear in the back, so they couldn’t even stretch out to sleep.”

King says they took the offer within about 30 seconds.

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King adds this is the first time something unexpected has taken place while camping at the lake. Two years previous while a spot just south of where they stayed this year.  She said she took a nasty thunderstorm blew in. So she took refuge in her truck. When she got out she noticed something out of place.

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“All of a sudden I heard this (loud) sound,” said King.  “What was that? I looked beside me and just as the lightning flashed all I saw was a tree. That’s where my trailer was supposed to be.”

She says the tree landed on the roof of the camper trailer she was staying in. Crushing the roof in addition to other items in the trailer.

“I don’t have the greatest luck,” said King.

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Despite the string of events, King says it hasn’t shied her away from future camping trips.

“I love fishing, I love camping, I love being outside. I will definitely be back.”

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