A grizzly bear killed a camper in western Montana early Tuesday morning.
The grizzly bear wandered into a campground in Ovando, Montana, Tuesday and attacked the camper between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., authorities claimed, according to The Associated Press. A team comprised of law enforcement personnel and wildlife specialists have been tasked with tracking down the bear. Authorities have not released the identity of the camper, and the incident remains under investigation.
Montana FWP confirms that the search is on for a grizzly bear in the Ovando area after a bicyclist had a fatal encounter with the grizzly between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. https://t.co/sBsVEPefEG
— NBC Montana (@NBCMontana) July 6, 2021
“There was an earlier contact with the bear prior to the event,” Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles claimed, according to the AP. “The bear basically came back into the campsite. It wandered into a campsite a couple different times,” Roselles added.
Roselles also said an initial report that claimed the hiker was riding a bicycle at the time of the attack was false.
“Our first concern is the community’s well-being. The next step is to find the bear,” Greg Lemon, a spokesman for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, said, according to the AP. (RELATED: 7% Of Men Think They Can Beat A Grizzly Bear In A Fight, 23% Believe They Can Beat A King Cobra)
Grizzly bears are coming into contact with people more frequently in the Northern Rocky Mountains as both the population of bears, which have been federally protected since 1975, and people, grow.
A grizzly killed a backcountry guide in April while fishing near the edge of Yellowstone National Park in southwestern Montana, the AP reported.
Grizzly bears who attack and kill people are tracked down and killed if authorities believe the bear remains a threat to public safety, according to the AP. In instances where bears attack, but do not kill people, the bear involved is often spared.