A grizzly bear has killed a woman in Ovando, Montana in the early morning of July 6, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP). The woman, identified as Leah Davis Lokan of Chico, California was on a long-distance bikepacking trip, says ABC News.
FWP says that the bear entered the town of Ovando, a small town about an hour east of Missoula, and woke up the campers who were sleeping near a post office. At first, the bear ran away. The campers removed food from their tents, secured the food, and returned to their tents. At about 3:30 a.m., the bear returned and attacked the camper, pulling her from her tent.
The other campers, sleeping adjacent to the victim, sprayed the bear with bear spray and he departed the area. FWP have been searching for the bear since.
Officials say the grizzly is about 400 pounds, and a male judging by its behavior and foot prints.
“At this point, our best chance for catching this bear will be culvert traps set in the area near the chicken coop where the bear killed and ate several chickens,” said Randy Arnold, FWP regional supervisor in Missoula in a statement. The bear also got into a chicken coop that night and ate several chickens. FWP says that it will kill the bear if the department finds it due to public safety concerns.
Lokan, according to ABC, was a registered nurse in her 60s and an avid adventurer.
In 2016, a mountain biker was killed by a grizzly in Montana after the rider reportedly collided with the bear on the trail. Grizzly bear attacks remain relatively rare overall, and tend to happen in surprise close encounters.