Grizzly bear is fatally shot just after killing California female

A bear trap set by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks sets Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in the camping area in Ovando, Mont., where bicycle tourist Leah Davis Lokan of Chico, California, was pulled out of her tent and killed by a grizzly bear early Tuesday. (Tom Bauer/Missoulian via AP)

A bear lure set by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks sets Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in the tenting place in Ovando, Mont., wherever bicycle vacationer Leah Davis Lokan of Chico, California, was pulled out of her tent and killed by a grizzly bear early Tuesday. (Tom Bauer/Missoulian by using AP)

AP

A grizzly bear that pulled a California female from her tent and killed her this week was fatally shot early Friday by wildlife officers making use of night time-vision goggles to stake out a chicken coop that the animal raided around the smaller Montana town exactly where the female was attacked.

Federal wildlife staff shot the bear shortly just after midnight when it approached a lure established in the vicinity of the coop about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from Ovando, the place 65-calendar year-aged Leah Davis Lokan of Chico, California, was killed Tuesday, claimed Greg Lemon with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The bear experienced raided the rooster coop overnight Wednesday, and officials set a baited lure nearby hoping to entice the animal back, Lemon mentioned. Nearby authorities claimed campsites in town would remain shut until eventually DNA proof from the animal comes back.

“Based on the dimensions of the bear, the shade of the bear and the mother nature of the chicken coop raids, we’re self-confident we have acquired the offending bear,” he said.

Lemon claimed tracks discovered at the coop also matched those in the vicinity of the fatal assault in Ovando.

The town along the banking companies of the Blackfoot River — produced famed by the movie “A River Operates As a result of It” — has much less than 100 folks and borders a massive expanse of forested lands that stretches to the Canadian border. The area is house to an believed 1,000 grizzlies.

Bear assaults on individuals are comparatively rare, especially in inhabited areas, and Ovando firms cater to adventuresome travelers, which include bicyclists like Lokan who are permitted to pitch their tents in city.

Dona Aitken, an artist who lives about 7 miles (11 kilometers) east of the city, stated the bear’s dying would deliver aid to the neighborhood. Aitken sees grizzlies occasionally and signs of them these kinds of as droppings and tracks but hasn’t been bothered by them.

“Everybody acknowledges this as genuinely irregular behavior to actually attack any individual sleeping in a tent in city,” she claimed. “I assume we nonetheless never have a good solution for why he did that.”

Investigators gathered DNA evidence from the attack and will look at it to samples collected from the lifeless grizzly, which was taken to a condition wildlife laboratory in Bozeman for a necropsy, Lemon said. The final results could be offered in the next 3 times.

Until eventually then, Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles explained he would manage a closure on outdoor campsites in Ovando.

Lokan, a registered nurse who had worked at a clinic in Chico, was an expert outside enthusiast and bicycle owner who was on a mountain biking excursion. She and two companions have been camping behind the Ovando write-up office environment when she was attacked.

Good friends described Lokan as a cost-free spirit and aggressive — and mindful of the dangers she faced on the vacation.

“She experienced a truly excellent spirit. She always experienced a smile on her encounter. Normally lit up when she saw you. Often gave you a huge hug,” said Mike Castaldo, president of the Chico Cycling Staff, who understood Lokan for about 15 many years. “But I believe most of her id was, you know, outdoors on the bike, savoring the outdoors was her matter.”

The estimated 400-pound (181 kilogram) bear woke up Lokan and her companions in a close by tent about 3 a.m. Tuesday, officials mentioned. Soon after the bear ran absent, the campers taken out foods from their tents, secured it and went back again to sleep, Montana wildlife officers say.

About 15 minutes later on, the bear was noticed on a video clip digicam at a enterprise about a block away from the submit office, wildlife officials reported.

About 4:15 a.m., the sheriff’s office obtained a 911 get in touch with immediately after two folks in a tent close to the victim’s have been woke up by sounds of the attack, Roselles reported. They applied bear spray, and the animal ran absent.

The bear is also thought to have entered a rooster coop in city that night, killing and taking in numerous chickens.

Authorities hunted for the animal in excess of 3 days, working with helicopters and searchers on the ground and placing out five significant traps made from metal culverts and baited with roadkill to catch the attention of the bear.

Bears that assault persons are not generally killed if the mauling resulted from a surprise come upon or the bear was defending its young. But the bear associated in Lokan’s death was considered a public basic safety threat.

In neighboring Idaho, a female bear with her cub attacked and wounded a man operating on a trail Friday. The bear charged him, and he laid down to test to guard himself. The grizzly struck him numerous instances and ran off, Idaho wildlife officers said. His accidents weren’t lifetime-threatening, and he was in a position to make it back again to his cabin to connect with 911. He was taken to a clinic.