A Canadian couple that was mauled to death by a grizzly bear while camping in Banff National Park earlier this month sent a chilling text to their family members before their death. Doug Inglis and Jenny Gusse, both 62, lost their lives along with their dog when their bear spray failed and the animal attacked them, The Calgary Herald reports.
- Inglis and Gusse had been hiking for many years. They were extremely experienced and knew how to stay safe. This time around, they’d embarked on a 7-day trip with Inglis’ uncle, Colin, and stayed in touch with him throughout. However, on Friday, September 29, they sent a message revealing they couldn’t make it to their camping spot before dark. Instead, they were going to stay near the Red Deer River in the Panther Valley for the night.
- A few hours later, Inglis and Gusse sent Colin an SOS message. Colin knew right away that something bad was happening. “I got a call from their Garmin [inReach device] that said, ‘Bear attack bad,’” Colin recalled. “The alarm bells were going off, ‘this is not good’ — that means there’d been some engagement. You’re completely helpless to know what’s going on.”
- The message immediately triggered a response from Parks Canada officials. They sent out a helicopter to try and find the couple but were forced to abandon the mission due to cloud cover in the area that made visibility nearly impossible. They sent out a team on the ground, who headed out to find the couple at around 10:30 p.m.
- Authorities reached the couple’s campsite at about 2 a.m. However, they were greeted with a horrifying sight: the mauled bodies of Inglis, Gusse, and their border collie. It was apparent that they’d tried to fight the animal off with bear spray but that it didn’t work. “Their tent was crushed and their e-readers were open, they were both discovered in their stocking feet,” Colin revealed.
- The bear was still in the area when authorities arrived. They said the animal was showing signs of aggression and they had to shoot it in order to save their own lives. “In their words, the bear was intent on killing them,” Colin said.
- The attack on Inglis and Gusse was the first bear attack inside Banff National Park in several decades. The female bear was said to be underweight for this time of year and therefore was likely extremely hungry at the time of the attack.