Grizzly bear that killed 65-year-old nurse in Montana hasn't yet been located, authorities say
By Neelam Bohra and Justin Lear, CNN
(CNN) -- After two days of air and ground searching, Montana authorities have been unable to locate a grizzly bear that killed a 65-year-old nurse on an overnight camping trip near the rural town of Ovando.
The bear killed the victim, Leah Davis Lokan, of Chico, California, instantaneously at 4:08 a.m. on Tuesday, while she was sleeping, Powell County coroner Heather Gregory said.
Initially, the bear had awoken both her and two other campers in another tent, attracted by food before running away, according to a news release from the Powell County Sheriff's Office. The two other campers were then woken by sounds of the attack and used bear spray, according to the news release.
"It was a terrible tragedy," Gregory said. "I'm just hoping that people start being more cautious. This is Montana, and this is bear country."
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has worked with the sheriff's office to conduct search efforts and set traps for the bear, but it hasn't been seen since the attack. Authorities plan to euthanize the bear if it is found, said Greg Lemon, administrator of communications for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Ovando campsites will remain closed until Sunday, according to the news release.
The attack is not the first in Montana this year. A 40-year-old Montana man was seriously injured by a grizzly bear "defending a food source" in April, but the man was able to call 911 and be transported to a hospital.
The campsite where Tuesday's attack took place was in a part of Montana that US Fish and Wildlife Services have sectioned off as a "recovery ecosystem" for grizzly bears, which are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in all areas of Montana.
Most recently, there were an estimated 1,029 bears in this ecosystem and these bears are "more likely to run into conflicts such as interactions with livestock and humans," according to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.
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