HELENA, Mont. — A grizzly bear attacked and killed a person camping in western Montana early Tuesday, triggering an intensive search for the bruin by wildlife officials and law enforcement officers who planned to kill the animal, officials said.
The pre-dawn attack happened in Ovando, a town of fewer than 100 people about 60 miles northwest of Helena, said Greg Lemon, a spokesperson with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.
The bear had previously wandered into the area where the victim was camping and left but later returned, Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles said.
A video camera from an Ovando business caught footage of a grizzly bear Monday night, wildlife officials said. A bear also raided a chicken coop prior to the attack at the campsite.
Ovando saloon owner Tiffanie Zavarelli said it was the first fatal bear mauling that she knew of in the community, located along the Blackfoot River beneath a mountain range that rises into the remote Bob Marshall Wilderness, a 1,500-square mile expanse of public forests. Residents of the area are accustomed to living in proximity to bears and know the risks, but the attack left them rattled, said Zavarelli, whose family owns Trixi's Antler Saloon, named after a well-known trick horseback rider and roper.