California cyclist camping at Ovando was victim of rare predatory grizzly attack

AMY BETH HANSON Associated Press

HELENA — A California woman who was fatally mauled by a grizzly bear in western Montana last summer was the victim of a rare predatory attack by a food-conditioned bear that was likely attracted to food in and near her tent and scents left behind from recent Independence Day picnics, wildlife officials said.

Leah Davis Lokan, 65, of Chico, was pulled out of her tent and mauled in the pre-dawn hours of July 6, 2021, in the small town of Ovando, along the banks of the Blackfoot River, made famous by the movie “A River Runs Through It.” The town borders a huge expanse of forested land that is home to an estimated 1,000 grizzlies.

About an hour before the mauling, the bear had approached the tents of Lokan and a Texas couple who were camping behind a museum. They were able to scare the bear away.

Lokan, a retired nurse, told the couple that the bear “huffed at my head,” according to the incident report by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s Board of Review.

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