11:56 AM PDT, July 9, 2021
A 65-year-old woman was camping in a small Montana town when a grizzly bear ripped her from her tent and fatally attacked her, and authorities are still searching for the animal responsible.
Leah David Lokan of Chico, California was on a biking trip when she set up at a camp sire early Tuesday in the small town of Ovando. The bear had entered her campsite before the attack and returned a few hours later to her tent and pulled her out, The Great Falls Tribune reported. The bear’s image was captured by a surveillance camera near the attack site.
The bear also reportedly went into town and entered a chicken coop, eating several chickens, the outlet reported.
“There was an earlier contact with the bear prior to the event,” Powel County Sheriff Roselles said, according to CBS News. “The bear basically came back into the campsite. It wandered into a campsite a couple different times.”
Lokan, an avid bicyclist, was cycling the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route when she was mauled by the bear. She completed in 2015 in the Mammoth National Championship Enduro and won in the “Women 60+” category.
Her hometown community is grappling with the devastating loss and remember Lokan as a “daring cook, competitive cyclist, and a loving human being,” KRCR reported.
“She always had a smile on her face. She loved life. She loved her doggy,” a friend told the outlet.
A group of wildlife specialists is actively searching for the bear and a possible “daybed” where the animal might be sleeping, according to reports. There are about five traps around the area.