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Monday June 30th, 2014

An illegal outdoor rave ended in tragedy this weekend when one of the party goers was shot in the head by a hunter. The victim, 18 year old Eddie Smith of Kirkland, Quebec, was wearing a bear costume at the time of the accident. “It was a furry party,” says Manuela Harris, who was at the party with Eddie when it happened. “We were all dressed up as animals. I went as a red fox, Eddie was a black bear. He put a lot of effort into his costume. He was so proud of it.”

Josiah Warren was part of the hunting party who mistook Eddie for a real bear. “It was late at night, around 11pm when we shot Eddie. At that hour, it’s hard to tell if you’re shooting real bears or men wearing bear costumes. Even the night goggles don’t help out much in a situation like that.”

Some people find it hard to believe that it was accident. “How could they have mistaken him for a real bear? Didn’t they hear any of the music? Even if Eddie had wandered away from the party to go the washroom, it’s not like sound doesn’t travel,” says Manuela. “And besides, furry outfits aren’t realistic depictions of animals. They have giant cartoon eyes. Eddie didn’t look like a bear, he looked like a bear character from a 1980s Warner Brothers cartoon.”

Josiah says that while it’s a tragedy that Eddie died, the ravers have no one but themselves to blame. “You know, it's always awful when someone dies, but if you’re going to throw a party that involves wearing animal outfits, maybe you should choose a venue that isn't in the middle of a forest during peak bear hunting season,” says Josiah. “That just isn't a very good idea.”

The hunters will likely get off with a slap on the wrist since the party was illegal. “Our hands are tied,” says Carson Wales, a Quebec spokesperson. “They had a black bear hunting license. That kid was wearing a black bear outfit. We can’t really charge them with anything."
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