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Chico woman killed by bear while camping in Montana

Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles says the bear wandered into the victim's camping area a couple of times before the fatal mauling early Tuesday.
Credit: Tom Bauer/The Missoulian via AP
A helicopter from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks flies around the Ovando, Mont., area on Tuesday, July 6, 2201, in search of a bear that killed a camper early that morning. The search for the bear continued Wednesday. (Tom Bauer/The Missoulian via AP)

CHICO, Calif. — Authorities are searching by ground and from the air for a grizzly bear that killed a woman who was camping in a western Montana town. 

In a news release from the Powell County Sheriff's Office, they identified the victim as Leah Davis Lokan, 65 of Chico, CA.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Greg Lemon says a helicopter crew was flying over the area around the small town of Ovando on Wednesday in pursuit of the bear, which will be killed if found. Ovando is a community of fewer than 100 people at the edge of the sprawling Bob Marshall wilderness. 

Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles says the bear wandered into the victim's camping area a couple of times before the fatal mauling early Tuesday.

In a news release, the sheriff's office said they got a call that a person had been attacked by a bear behind the Museum in Ovando. First responders tried to save the woman's life, but she ultimately died.

Investigators said the bear entered Ovando Monday morning and encountered Lokan and another couple sleeping in their tents behind the Museum. Authorities said the bear woke up the campers before running away, and that the campers removed food from their tents, secured it in another area designated for food storage, and went back to sleep.

A short time later, deputies said two people in the nearby tent were woken up by sounds of the attack and used bear spray. The bear ran away and hasn't been seen since.

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