Officials say a small bear attacked and killed a bike rider who was camping in a small village in Montana early Tuesday. Following the incident, wildlife officials and law enforcement personnel began a massive search for the bear they intended to kill.
According to Greg Lemon, a spokesman for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, the pre-dawn incident occurred in Owando, a community of less than 100 people about 60 miles northwest of Helena. The victim has not been named, but according to NBC Montana, the tourist was a woman.
Powell County Sheriff Gavin Rosales said the bear first went to the area where the victim had camped and later went to return. “Before the incident, there was a previous encounter with the bear,” Rossel explained. “The bear had virtually returned to the campground. It had been to the campground on several occasions.”
According to officials, a team of law enforcement and wildlife professionals traced and killed the bear. A helicopter team was assisting in the search for a “daybed” where the bear could rest to escape the heat, according to Lemon, who said the bear had left Owando.
According to Lemon, wildlife officials set up five traps in and near Owando with the aim of catching the bear.
According to the first account, the victim was riding a bicycle when she was attacked. Rosales said it was not so. According to Lemon, the victim was part of a group of cyclists.
The identity of the victim was not immediately disclosed, and the circumstances of the attack were still being investigated. “Our first focus is the well-being of the community. The next task is to locate the bears,” commented Lemon.
Officials did not specify the location of the incident, but Rosales said others were also camping in the area. Wildlife officials say a video camera from the Owando company captured a bear on Monday night. Lemon told CBS-linked KXLH-TV, “We have some video camera evidence from a local shop in town of a grizzly bear roaming the city on Monday night, and then there’s this incident, so we assume it’s the same.” is.” It’s a brown bear.”
Ovando Saloon owner Tiffany Zavarelli said it was the first deadly bear she had heard of in the city, which lies along the Blackfoot River at the foot of a mountain range that climbs into the isolated Bob Marshall Wilderness, which is home to 1,500. -Square-miles. public land. The residents are aware of the bears being near and the dangers, but the attack stuns them, according to Zavarelli, whose family runs Trix’s Antler Saloon, named after a famous trick horseman and romper. has gone.
“Right now, everyone is a little nervous. “People of Montana, we know how to ‘be vigilant,’ but anything can happen,” Zarrelli said of the 75-person population. On Tuesday afternoon, a group of cyclists met in Trixie to discuss their next destination.
“I think we’re headed north,” Jim Drake, a resident of Las Cruces, New Mexico, told the Missoulian newspaper. Drake was only four or five days away from ending his seven-week journey.
“We have bear spray on us and put our food in a bear-proof sack. Bears are always a threat, but we don’t need to be concerned as long as we take measures. We are more vulnerable to it . more likely to be attacked by a bear than a car, in my opinion “he said”
Blackfoot Inn and General Shop owner Leigh Ann Valiton said the tragic attack left residents of Owando “absolutely heartbroken”.
Grizzly bears have increased their conflict with humans in the northern Rockies over the past decade, as the federally protected creatures spread to new areas and the number of people living and entertaining the area increased. As a result, lawmakers in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have called for a ban on the hunting of animals.
A backcountry guide was killed by a grizzly bear in April while fishing near the border of Yellowstone National Park in southern Montana. When the 420-pound bear accused wildlife officials of approaching the molting site, he was shot and killed.
Owando lies at the southern end of a vast forest that runs to the Canadian border and is home to an estimated 1,000 bears, making it one of the largest bear populations in the United States.
The area around Glacier National Park has seen 11 deadly bear attacks over the past 50 years, including Tuesday’s death, according to US Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Joe Juzwock. Since 2001, 20 bear-related injuries have been recorded, with 20 victims requiring hospitalization.
In 2016, a fatal catastrophe occurred in the Glacier-Continental Divide region. After colliding with a grizzly while mountain biking at Flathead Nationals The rest, an off-duty US Forest Service law enforcement officer, is attacked and murdered.