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However, this year there’s also a warning from a wildlife expert, urging people heading into the back country for the long weekend to pack bear spray.

This following the death last weekend of the 27 year old son of Daniel O’Connor of Mackenzie, who was the victim of a surprise wildlife encounter, with a 300 pound adversary, near Williston Lake.

Danny O’Connor, says his son was camping with his fiancé when the attack occurred and while he opted, to sleep by a campfire, she unwittingly, likely saved her own life, by deciding to stay inside their motor-home.

The bear believed to be responsible, along with a wolf, were tracked down and killed by conservation officers.

Meantime wildlife co-ordinator Frank Ritcey concedes fatal black bear attacks are rare with only 65 in North America over the last one hundred years.

However, he’s urging would-be holiday weekend campers to pack bear spray, which he calls a proven deterrent, adding he has now knowledge of any fatal attacks when it was used.

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