Big Sky Roundup

DNA confirms euthanized bear responsible for Ovando attack

By: - July 15, 2021 4:06 pm

A grizzly bear. (Photo by Jean Beaufort.)

DNA results received Wednesday confirmed the grizzly bear killed by wildlife officials last Friday was the same bear that fatally attacked a camper in Ovando early on the morning of July 6, according to a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

“The DNA samples from the bear, saliva sample at the scene of the attack, and samples from two chicken coops that were raided in the area all match up,” FWP said.

Leah Davis Lokan, 64, was fatally mauled by the grizzly eight days into a bike camping trip when the bear returned to the popular cyclist camp in Ovando after it had walked through earlier the same night.

Montana is bear country and recreationists can be “bear aware” by following some simple guidelines, FWP said:

  • Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it.
  • Avoid surprise encounters by traveling in groups, making noise and being aware of surroundings, particularly in areas with limited sight lines and recent bear sign (tracks, scat and turned over rocks and logs).
  • Keeping a clean camp by securing attractants and keeping food securely stored.
  • Find a list of bear-resistant containers on the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s website

For more information on bear aware guidelines, go online to FWP’s Bear Aware webpage.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.