Grizzly Bear Killed Near Ovando – Restrictions Remain in Place
Wildlife officials trapped and killed a grizzly bear early Friday morning that they believe may be responsible for the attack that killed 65 year-old Leah Davis Lokan of Chico, California, an incident that has garnered worldwide media attention.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Information and Program Manager Greg Lemon described how the bear was trapped and killed.
“Thursday morning we got a call that that night a bear had raided a chicken coop less than two miles away from Ovando,” said Lemon. “On inspection of that incident, the tracks looked to be the same the behavior of the raid on the chicken coop was really similar to what the bear had done to the chicken coop in Ovando on Tuesday morning, and so we thought we might have the same bear so we set out a trap.”
Lemon said FWP got some high-tech help from a federal agency.
“We asked USDA Wildlife Services if they would help us out and so they agreed and they provided night vision technology,” he said. “They set up on the trap last night and the bear came back in around midnight and was shot.”
Lemon said he is reasonably certain that the bear that was shot early Friday was the same bear that killed Leah Davis Lokan.
“The behavior of the bear and then the size and the color of the bear, along with the size of the tracks, lead to our being confident that we got the bear that was responsible for Tuesday's fatal attack,” he said. “We did take DNA samples and it's going to take a few days for us to get confirmation for DNA that we do, in fact have the same bear.”
Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles said he was not taking any chances with the safety of desiring to camp or bike in the area.
“I was speaking with the officials from Fish, Wildlife and Parks this morning, and I think that everybody's kind of operating under the assumption that this is the bear that was involved in Tuesday's attack, but from my standpoint and a public safety standpoint until I get confirmation from DNA analysis, and Fish, Wildlife and Parks is able to confirm with me that it was the bear that was involved in Tuesday's attack, then for now I'm going to keep my restrictions in place.”
Sheriff Roselles told KGVO that he has received calls from media representatives world-wide.
“This certainly has a global interest,” he said. “The New York Times, People Magazine, the Associated Press, China news, and I've been contacted by a media outlet in Berlin, Germany as well.”
As KGVO reported, the New York Times edition linked to our story.
FWP’s Greg Lemon said he was interviewed Friday morning by Good Morning America.
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