He was surprised in full sleep. A Frenchman was killed by a bear while camping on August 15 in the territories of western Canada. A body was found the next day, in the afternoon, in a wild area in the north of the country. According to an official French source, it would be a question of Julien, a French-Canadian quadragenarian living in Seine-Saint-Denis, who was traveling there to create a musical creation.
"We were in Tulita, along the Mackenzie River," says Camille, the friend who accompanied him on this adventure. She was the one who alerted the helpers. She does not want to talk about the circumstances of the attack. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police explains that they were surprised on their camp, awakened by a grizzly bear. The animal seized the 44-year-old man on the neck and shoulder before taking him to the forest.
Julien, a composer and soundman, realized one of his dreams: "Go down the Mackenzie River independently, from Fort Providence to Inuvik (about 1,500 km)," he explains on the online platform. CrowKissBankBank crowdfunding fund. The project mixed personal and professional ambitions and was to last about thirty days, from August to September: "Julien and Camille never wanted this project to be a simple trip, but had the wish to reconcile it with their know-how, their trades, and thus to transmit the lived experience to their return. (…) During the adventure, Julien will record and take inspiration from the unusual sounds he will hear over there and Camille will take pictures. "
"It was his dream to go there"
Upon his return, he planned to make a creation with sounds recorded for an exhibition in the Paris region. Julien announced on his Facebook account on August 1 that he began his journey. Six days later, he gives some news in a new post that retrospectively finds a particular echo: "Already 5 days of canoeing and wild camping, 3 without having crossed the soul … Apart from 4 bears, amount of birds in all genera, and a trace of wolf that appeared during the night 20 meters below the tent! Tonight is well deserved rest (after a day of incessant rain) in a small village of fifty inhabitants, Jean-Marie River, and here there is the wi-fi. "
"It was his dream to go there, to go to the North, says Camille, a biologist. He had proposed to participate in this adventure, it was three years that thought. We were so happy to realize it. He was a particular artist, he was inspired by open spaces and nature … "
Julien's companion, Laura, who stayed in France, confirmed with emotion Julien's attraction for travel and landscapes: "He grew up in Canada until he was 19 years old with his two French parents before coming to France. . He had linked his passion for nature with that of music. It was rather what is called classical music, but still in a contemporary approach by recording soundscapes. "
In 2018, Julien recorded sounds for five months alongside scientists on mission to the Kerguelen Islands in Antarctica. Called "Southern Symphony", its creation was played by the Orchester de Bretagne and broadcast on France Musique. "He was very ambitious," says Laura. He operated a synergy between music and his adventurous side. This trip excited him so much. Unfortunately, it cost him his life. "
Very rare attacks
Bear attacks are rare, but publicized. In 2018, a woman and her 10-month-old baby were killed by a grizzly bear in the Yukon (northern Canada). On July 29, a 45-year-old mountain biker narrowly escaped death near Vancouver in the west of the country. A bear had taken it for prey. The man, wounded in the abdomen and legs, escaped thanks to the knife he carried on him. According to Nature, the increase in tourism and the human population statistically increases opportunities for encounters with bears.
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