The holiday came to an abrupt end for several families in Herroxville after a bear was attacked at Camp Val Notre-Dame on Monday evening.
The police intervention resulted in five arrests, but in all 17 people were taken to hospital.
Carol Jalbert, an employee of Camp Val Notre-Dame in Herouxville, witnessed the altercation in the cafeteria.
“I saw the world running and crying. There was someone throwing something in the eye and it was burning,” said Mrs. Jalbert.
She was hoping to be saved because of her respiratory problems. After a slight burn in her throat, she recovered quickly, she said.
According to the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), everything went wrong around 7 p.m., when five Montrealers, including a minor, appeared on site to attack a camper.
A general panic ensued when the bears were sprayed with pepper spray in the direction of the camp, disrupting several families present.
About 40 people were met by paramedics when they arrived at the scene. Among the 17 people admitted to the hospital were adults and children.
Paramedics who responded to the call will never forget the hours-long intervention.
“It’s a big experience for them, but they’re doing well,” said the supervisor of Ambulance 33-33 in St-Tite, who took time to follow and meet with the paramedics sent to the scene.
The police quickly tracked down the fleeing suspects and arrested them. They were released on a promise to appear.
The police confiscated two cans of Kudai Chilli and Bear Repellent. These are prohibited weapons.
The incident caused a stir in the camp and also cut short the holidays of the families staying there. All of them decided to leave the campus on Tuesday.
However, despite this misfortune, they all want to return next summer.
“People were in shock. It’s an event that didn’t start here, but unfortunately the end of the event took everyone by surprise,” laments Alain Said, chairman of the camp’s board of directors.
He says he has never seen such an event in 50 years.
Police are continuing to investigate the cause of the dispute. So far, the person targeted by the group has not lodged a complaint.
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