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Grizzly shot and killed after fatal attack of California woman

A large trap behind red "Danger" tape and a sign reading "Closed: Bear management action in progress."
A bear trap is set in the camping area in Ovando, Mont., where a California woman was pulled out of her tent and killed by a grizzly bear early Tuesday.
(Associated Press)

Wildlife officials said they shot and killed a Montana grizzly bear Friday that had pulled a California woman from her tent and killed her earlier this week in the middle of a small Montana town.

The male bear was shot by federal wildlife workers wearing night-vision goggles shortly after midnight, when it approached a trap set near a chicken coop about 2 miles from Ovando, where Leah Davis Lokan, 65, of Chico, Calif., was killed early Tuesday, said Greg Lemon with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The bear had raided the chicken coop overnight Wednesday, and officials set a baited trap nearby hoping to lure the animal back.

“Based on the size of the bear, the color of the bear and the nature of the chicken coop raids, we’re confident we’ve got the offending bear,” Lemon said.

On Thursday night, an Ovando woman came home to find her door ripped off and noticed large claw marks, Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles posted on Facebook. A short time later, the bear was killed in the area.

Investigators gathered DNA evidence from the scene of the attack that killed Lokan and will compare it to samples gathered from the dead grizzly bear to be sure the bear that was killed was the one that attacked Lokan. The results could be available in the next three days.

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Until then, Roselles said he would maintain the closure of outdoor campsites available in Ovando.

Lokan was an experienced outdoorswoman and cyclist who was on a mountain biking trip. She and her party were camped by Ovando’s post office early Tuesday when she was attacked.

Friends said Lokan was a free spirit, competitive and adventuresome, and was aware of the dangers she faced on the trip.


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