Bear Spray Attack at Camp Sends 17 to the Hospital

It happened at a family camp in Montreal
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2023 3:33 PM CDT
Bear Spray Attack at Camp Sends 17 to the Hospital
Use on bears only.   (Getty Images / Steven White)

"We've been operating Val Notre-Dame camp for over 50 years, and our mission is to offer families a vacation," says the chair of the Canadian facility's board of directors. What some families experienced on Monday night was anything but a respite. The provincial police service says a group of five young people entered the Hérouxville, Quebec camp's cafeteria and targeted a man with bear spray. CTV News reports 17 people inside were taken to the hospital with eye and respiratory issues after inhaling the airborne spray. Those impacted included kids and adults, but no serious injuries were reported.

Police say the five suspects fled but were later arrested; all are male and between 17 and 21. No motive has been given, though the CBC reports a police sergeant somewhat cryptically said it could be related to a cottage rental. "Social workers were called in to explain that we were dealing with individuals who wanted to attack a single man, and that this was not directed against all the people," a police rep said. Board chair Alain Côté calls the incident "deplorable," adding, "This is the first time this has happened, but it won't stop us from continuing our mission." It was, oddly, one of a trio of attacks involving bear spray in Canada in recent days; the others happened at a British Columbia mall and a Toronto restaurant. (More bear spray stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.