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Bear suspected of fatal attack of camper in Montana has been killed, sheriff's office says

GRIZZLY BEAR (file photo)
Posted at 2:47 PM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 14:48:09-04

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Officials in Montana say they've killed a male grizzly bear they suspect was involved in the fatal attack of a 65-year-old camper who was visiting the state earlier this week.

On Thursday evening, the Powell County Sheriff's office said it received a report from a resident who came home and found her door ripped off. Claw marks were left at the scene. A short time later, a male grizzly bear was killed in the area.

Samples were taken from the bear and sent to a testing facility. They hope to make a positive identification within a few days.

Though the identity has not been confirmed, officials believe the bear killed Thursday was the same one that killed Leah Davis of Chico, California, on Tuesday as she slept in her tent in the town of Ovando.

Two campers who were in Davis' party said the bear was first spotted Tuesday morning around 3 a.m. local time.

The bear woke the campers but then ran away. The three campers removed food from their tents, secured it, and went back to bed.

A video camera at a business less than a block away recorded the bear in the vicinity at about 3:15 a.m.

At about 3:30 a.m., the two people in the tent adjacent to the victim were awakened by sounds of the attack. They got out of the tent and sprayed the bear with bear spray.

Davis was pulled from her tent during the attack and later pronounced dead.

The bear has also been blamed for the death of several chickens in a coop nearby in Ovando.

Search continues for grizzly bear that killed a woman in Ovando

This story was originally published by Montana Television Network.