Lanigan woman survives bear attack at Saskatchewan lake
Casadi Schroeder is recovering after being attacked by a bear while camping with her husband and three children over the weekend.
The family was staying in a cabin at Jeannette Lake in Meadow Lake Provincial Park when they came across a bear on Friday.
“I believe it was my son, my eight-year-old son was like ‘oh mom, there’s a bear!’ So we quickly went outside and there was a black bear and my two-year-old son was standing by himself, like 10 metres or something from the bear. I just went up to him and picked him and started backing away,” Casadi said.
They were able to scare the bear away with help from other campers and called conservation officers. According to Schroeder, the officers shot the bear with a rubber bullet and thought he wouldn’t be back.
However, the bear returned two days later.
“My son again was really close to the front door and said the bear was pushing on the door or scratching on the door. And I was just like, ‘oh, the bear is gone, you don’t have to worry anymore,’ and sure enough I looked out the window and he was there, the bear was back.”
After scaring the bear off once again, Casadi went to warn kids that were camping in a tent nearby. They were unable to call to warn anyone due to being in a dead spot.
As she rounded the corner to their building, she saw the bear trying to get into a kitchen.
“He just stopped and he turned and looked right at me and started slowly walking towards me,” Casadi said.
“I started clapping my hands, I didn’t want to be yelling at it because I didn’t want him to feel threatened or feel like I was being aggressive so I just started making noise and backing away more.”
For a moment, Casadi thought the bear wouldn’t attack as he started to climb a tree.
“The next thing I remember, he just had me down on the ground and he was just biting into my legs and I was actually quite shocked.”
“I started yelling for help. It just felt like the bear was eating my thighs, like he was just biting in and it was so painful. It felt like the bears teeth were going so deep, like it was just going to my bones almost. He would just bite in and rip and bite in and rip,” Casadi said.
“I remember just having this moment of peace actually and being like, ‘OK Jesus, I’m ready to go.’ All I had was my stupid phone on me and I thought how am I going to defend myself if he goes for my throat? He was so strong. I just remember feeling really helpless and defenceless.”
That’s when Casadi’s husband jumped into action.
“I saw the bear charge and then I took off, you don’t even really think, you just react and know you have to get out there,” Brad Schroeder said.
“He just reacted, and I’m just so thankful that he did,” Casadi said with tears in her eyes.
Once the bear was off of her, she ran to a neighbouring cabin, however the bear caught up to her once again and scratched her back.
After his wife was safe inside, Brad went to check on their kids who were in their cabin approximately 50 metres away.
“Our kids were alone in our cabin and so the last thing I wanted was for them to open the door or wander out so I knew I had to get back there as soon as I could,” Brad said.
“I took off running for our cabin and at that point remember being tackled and knocked over by it but was able to get free really quickly.”
He escaped with minor scratches, while Casadi needed 34 staples to help with her wounds.
Looking back on the weekend, Casadi said she would try to warn the other campers all over again.
“What if it was a kid, that bear was super strong, you just don’t know. I’m just super grateful and super grateful someone else didn’t get hurt, especially a kid,” Casadi said.
“I do feel like it was a miracle, I do feel like god was protecting me.”
According to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, the bear involved in this attack was later caught and put down. DNA tests confirmed that it was the bear in question. This is the second bear attack in five years in Saskatchewan.
As for the Schroeders, they said this will not stop them from camping in the future.
“I think we’re definitely not out of the woods in terms of trauma and healing from the trauma of the event but no, I think we’ll go camping. We have plans to go camping later in the summer. I don’t think I’ll be going to any close ranges of any bears for a while, but we’re going to go camping again,” Casadi said.