Wildlife officials used night vision goggles to locate a chicken coop the bear had taken from a Montana town.
Federal wildlife workers shot the bear shortly after midnight as it approached a trap near Ovando, which is about 2 miles (3 km) from Ovando. This trap was set close to Chico, California’s Leah Davis Lokan, 65, who was killed in early Tuesday morning, according to Greg Lemon, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Lemon stated that the bear had entered the chicken coop Wednesday night and officials placed a trap near the location to try to lure it back. The local authorities ordered the closure of all campsites until DNA evidence is available.
He stated that the bear’s size, color, and nature of the chicken-coop raids are all indicators that he is the culprit. Lemon stated that tracks found at the location of the coop also match tracks found in Ovando.
The Blackfoot River town, which is home to less than 100 residents, borders Canada with a vast expanse of forested land that extends all the way to the border. An estimated 1000 grizzlies call the region home.
Bear attacks on humans are rare, especially in populated areas. Ovando businesses caters to adventuresome tourists, including bicyclists such as Lokan, who are permitted to pitch their tents in the town.
Dona Aitken is an artist who lives 7 miles (11 km) east of Ovando. She said that the bear’s passing would bring relief to the area. Aitken occasionally sees grizzlies, and they leave droppings and tracks. But they are not bothersome to her.
She stated that “everybody recognizes that this is really unusual behavior to attack someone sleeping in a tent on the town.” “I believe we still don’t know the reason he did it.”
Lemon stated that investigators collected DNA evidence at Lokan’s funeral and will compare it with samples taken from the dead grizzly bear. The results may be available within the next three days.
Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles stated that he would keep Ovando’s outdoor camping areas closed until then.
Lokan, a Chico-based registered nurse, was an experienced outdoor woman who was riding on a highly anticipated mountain biking trip. Two of her companions and she were camping near the Ovando postal office on Tuesday morning when they were attacked.
Lokan was described by friends as competitive and free-spirited, and she was aware of the dangers that she faced during the trip.
She had a great spirit. She had a smile on every face. She always lit up when she saw your face. Mike Castaldo, the president of Chico Cycling Team, said that Lokan was a close friend for over 15 years. “But I think her most significant identity was outside riding a bike and enjoying the outdoors.
Officials said Lokan and her companions were awakened by the bear, which weighed in at 400 pounds (181 kilograms) around 3 a.m. Tuesday. According to Montana wildlife officials, the bear fled after the campers took food out of their tents, secured it, and then went back to sleep.
Wildlife officials stated that the bear was seen on a video camera in a nearby business 15 minutes later.
Roselles stated that two people living in a tent close to the victims were awakened by the sounds of an attack at 4:15 AM. Roselles reported that the sheriff’s department received a 911 call around this time. The bear fled after they released their bear spray.
It is believed that the bear entered a chicken coop in town that evening, killing several chickens and then eating them all.
The bear was captured by authorities who used helicopters and ground search teams to hunt it down. They set up five traps made of steel culverts that were baited with roadkill and placed them in large, open-air areas.
If the attack was unexpected or the bear was protecting its young, then the bear that attacked people is not always killed. The circumstances surrounding Lokan’s attack made Lokan a public safety risk.
Roselles stated that a woman from Ovando, Ohio, returned home on Thursday night to find her door ripped off. She also noticed large claw marks around the house.
Lemon stated that wildlife officials do not have sufficient evidence to make a connection between Lokan’s death and the damage done to the house. They don’t even know when it was damaged.