Grizzly bear shot dead after dragging California woman out of tent and killing her in Montana

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Grizzly bear shot dead after dragging California woman out of tent and killing her in Montana


A grizzly bear was shot dead in Montana after dragging a woman out of her tent and killing her, local officials said.

Leah Davis Lokan, 65, from California, was on a mountain bike trip with two friends in Ovando, Montana, when the 400-pound bear attacked their camp in the early hours of Tuesday.

Authorities hunted the beast for three days using helicopters and ground equipment, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) said.

He is believed to have raided a chicken coop overnight Wednesday, leading wildlife personnel to set a trap in the hopes of bringing him back.

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A bear trap was set up in Ovando following the attack. Photo: AP

The bear, which will be officially identified in due course, returned to the scene – three kilometers from where Ms Lokan died – and was shot in the early morning hours by staff using night vision goggles, according to the MFWP.

Ovando, which is located along the banks of the Blackfoot River, is home to only 100 people.

Ms. Lokan and her friends were camping behind the local post office when she was attacked around 4 a.m.

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A helicopter scans the area for the bear. Photo: AP

She was said to be an experienced cyclist and passionate about the outdoors, working as a nurse in California.

Mike Castaldo, president of her local cycling team who had known her for over 15 years, paid tribute to her.

“She had a very good mind. She always had a smile on her face. Always lit up when she saw you. Always gave you a big hug, ”he said.

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The town of Ovando is located on the Blackfoot River. File photo: AP

Bear attacks on humans are rare, despite the number of 1,000 living in the area, which borders Canada.

Dona Aitken, an artist who lives about 7 miles from Ovando, said the bear’s death would reassure locals.

“Everyone recognizes that it is really abnormal behavior to attack someone who is sleeping in a tent in town,” she said. “I think we still don’t have a good answer as to why he did this. ”

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