Grizzly Shot, Killed After Fatal Attack of California Woman

3 weeks ago 8

A grizzly carnivore that pulled a California pistillate from her structure and killed her earlier this week was fatally changeable aboriginal Friday by wildlife officials, who utilized nighttime imaginativeness goggles to involvement retired a chickenhearted coop that the carnivore raided adjacent the tiny Montana municipality wherever the pistillate was attacked.

The carnivore was changeable by national wildlife workers soon aft midnight erstwhile it approached a trap acceptable adjacent the coop astir 2 miles (3 kilometers) from Ovando, wherever Leah Davis Lokan, 65, of Chico, California, was killed aboriginal Tuesday morning, said Greg Lemon with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The carnivore had raided the chickenhearted coop overnight Wednesday, and officials acceptable a baited trap adjacent hoping to lure the carnal back, Lemon said. Local authorities said a closure of campsites successful municipality would proceed until DNA grounds successful the lawsuit is returned.

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“Based connected the size of the bear, the colour of the carnivore and the quality of the chickenhearted coop raids, we’re assured we’ve got the offending bear,” helium said. Lemon said tracks recovered astatine the tract of the coop besides matched tracks recovered successful Ovando.

The municipality on the banks of the Blackfoot River — made celebrated by the movie “A River Runs Through It" — has less than 100 radical and borders a immense expanse of forested lands that stretches to the Canada border. The portion is location to an estimated 1,000 grizzlies.

Bear attacks connected humans are comparatively rare, peculiarly successful inhabited areas, and Ovando businesses cater to adventuresome tourists including bicyclists similar Lokan who are allowed to transportation their tents successful town.

Dona Aitken, an creator who lives astir 7 miles (11 kilometers) eastbound of Ovando, said the bear’s decease would bring alleviation to the community. Aitken sees grizzlies occasionally and signs of them specified arsenic droppings and tracks, but hasn’t been bothered by them.

“Everybody recognizes this arsenic truly abnormal behaviour to really onslaught idiosyncratic sleeping successful a structure successful town,” she said. “I deliberation we inactive don’t person a bully reply for wherefore helium did that.”

Investigators gathered DNA grounds from the country of Lokan's decease and volition comparison it to samples gathered from the dormant grizzly bear, which was taken to a authorities wildlife laboratory successful Bozeman for a necropsy, Lemon said. The results could beryllium disposable successful the adjacent 3 days.

Until then, Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles said helium would support a closure connected outdoor campsites successful Ovando.

Lokan, a registered caregiver who had worked astatine a infirmary successful Chico, was an experienced outdoors pistillate and cyclist who was connected a much-anticipated upland biking trip. She and 2 companions were camped down the Ovando station bureau aboriginal Tuesday erstwhile she was attacked.

Friends described Lokan arsenic a escaped tone and competitory — and alert of the dangers she faced connected the trip.

“She had a truly bully spirit. She ever had a grin connected her face. Always lit up erstwhile she saw you. Always gave you a large hug,” said Mike Castaldo, president of the Chico Cycling Team, who knew Lokan for astir 15 years. “But I deliberation astir of her individuality was, you know, extracurricular connected the bike, enjoying the outdoors was her thing.”

The estimated 400-pound (181 kilogram) carnivore awakened Lokan and her companions successful an adjacent structure astir 3 a.m. Tuesday, officials said. After the carnivore ran away, the campers removed nutrient from their tents, secured it and went backmost to sleep, Montana wildlife officials person said.

The carnivore was seen by a video camera astatine a concern astir a artifact distant from the station bureau astir 15 minutes later, wildlife officials said.

About 4:15 a.m., the sheriff’s bureau received a 911 telephone aft 2 radical successful a structure adjacent the victim’s were awakened by sounds of the attack, Roselles said. They discharged their carnivore spray, and the carnivore ran away.

The carnivore is besides believed to person entered a chickenhearted coop successful municipality that night, sidesplitting and eating respective chickens.

Authorities hunted for the carnal implicit 3 days, utilizing helicopters and hunt crews connected the crushed and acceptable retired 5 ample traps made from alloy culverts and baited with roadkill successful an effort to pull the bear.

Bears that onslaught radical are not ever killed if the mauling resulted from a astonishment brushwood oregon the carnivore was defending its young. But the carnivore progressive successful Lokan’s decease was considered a nationalist information menace due to the fact that of the circumstances of the attack.

On Thursday night, an Ovando-area pistillate came location and recovered her doorway ripped disconnected and noticed ample claw marks connected the house, Roselles said.

Lemon said wildlife officials don’t person capable grounds to gully immoderate transportation betwixt the harm to the location and the carnivore that killed Lokan, due to the fact that they don’t cognize erstwhile the location was damaged.

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Brown reported from Billings.

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