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Lorna Weafer

"A warm, conscientious person": Family's tribute to Irish-born woman killed in bear attack

Lorna Weafer was attacked and killed by a black bear as she worked at an oil field in northern Canada.

THE FAMILY OF Lorna Weafer, the Irish-born woman killed by a bear in Canada have said said she was “a warm, conscientious person” who “made fast friends”.

The 36-year-old, who moved to Canada with her family as a child in 1981, was attacked by a black bear as she worked at an oil field near Fort McMurray, in the north of the country. She was declared dead at the scene.

“We know the manner in which she died has led to a focus on her death, but we would like to share some insight into Lorna’s life and her spirit,” a statement from the family says.

“She had a busy full life, loved her family and her dog.

“She absolutely adored children and had volunteered as a Big Sister.”

The statement continues:

Although Lorna had only been working with Suncor as an instrumentation tech since October, she was extremely well-liked and had many friends at the company.Two weeks ago Lorna lost her beloved dog Abby. Abby had been her pal for 15 years.

Lorna was incredibly organized. She was an avid photographer, and was very artistic.

She had been talking about going back to study and become a psychologist because she loved helping people – she’d have helped anyone. And she often did.

She will be greatly missed by her immediate and extended family, and her many, many friends.

On behalf of our family we’d like to recognize the co-workers who tried to help Lorna. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We understand you are grieving as well and we are sending you our best regards.

Due to the sudden and tragic circumstances of Lorna’s death, we are asking for privacy while we grieve.

Those who witnessed the attack say it happened quickly, and that no-one saw the animal approach, Canada’s CBC News reports.

The broadcaster quotes an investigator with Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Mike Ewald, as saying Lorna’s co-workers tried to scare the bear off using fire extinguishers, a water cannon and air horn, “all general things that should scare it off.”

Police shot and killed an adult black bear seen nearby as soon as they arrived, according to the CBC report.

Several investigations are now under way into the death.

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