Law enforcement and wildlife agencies are searching for a grizzly bear that killed a woman near Ovando on Tuesday night, Montana Fish, said Wildlife & Parks (FWP) agency.
Law enforcement and wildlife agencies continue to search for the elusive bear by helicopter and from the ground and say they intend to kill it if they find it. Two Bear Air Rescue helicopters are also involved in the search and are using infrared technology to locate the animal.
FWP said its bear specialists and wardens are continuing to monitor traps set in the area.
Leah Lokan, a 65-year-old nurse from California, was tragically killed by the bear while resting for the night during a long-distance bike journey.
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The brown bear initially woke Ms Lokan and her two travelling companions, sleeping in a separate tent nearby, at around 3am but then ran away.
In a bid to keep the bear from returning, the campers removed food from their tents and secured it before going back to sleep.
Within 30 minutes, the bear returned and attacked Ms Lokan.
The bear pulled the victim from the tent during the attack and was killed.
The two other campers sprayed the grizzly with bear spray before it escaped back into the wild.
At some point during the night the bear also got into a chicken coop and ate several chickens.
Ovando is a small community with fewer than 100 people and sits on the edge of Glacier National Park.
The park, which stretches over the border to Canada, is home to the largest concentration of bears within the contiguous US, but FWP noted that fatal attacks are rare.
Randy Arnold, FWP regional supervisor in Missoula, said: “At this point, our best chance for catching this bear will be culvert traps set in the area near the chicken coop where the bear killed and ate several chickens.”
FWP experts believe the bear was a male and weighed around 181kg (400lbs) based on its behaviour and footprints.
However, male grizzly bears can weigh between more than 300kg.
Should a bear be caught in a trap, a DNA test can quickly be used to compare whether it is the same bear as the one involved in the attack.
Mary Flowers, a friend of the victim, told Associated Press: “She loved these kinds of adventures.
“A woman in her 60s, and she’s doing this kind of stuff.
“She had a passion for life that was out of the ordinary.”
Image Credit: Getty