A person camping near Ovando was killed by a bear early Tuesday morning, according to the Powell County Sheriff’s Office, along with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

FWP Education and Program Manager Greg Lemon provided details to KGVO News not long after the attack on Tuesday morning.

“Tuesday morning, there was a fatal grizzly bear attack in Ovando,” said Lemon. “Our staff responded to the area right away for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. We have what is called ‘Wildlife-Human Attack Response Teams. Those are folks who are wildlife specialists, conflict specialists and game wardens, so that team has assembled in Ovando this morning and is looking for the grizzly bear.”

Little is known about the victim at this time, according to Lemon.

“We haven't confirmed if it was a male or female,” he said. “Most of that information around the victim in the circumstances is being handled by the Powell County Sheriff's Office. We do know the person was camping, and so the appears to be have been in a tent, and that's the extent that I can confirm now. We had a video camera from a local business that had footage from last night of a grizzly bear in Ovando, and then there was also a bear that got into a chicken coop in town and so we think the bear on the camera and the chicken coop incident are all the same bear.”

Lemon says the ‘Be Bear Aware’ campaign has been providing safety information for Montanans for several years.

“Grizzly bear attacks most often happen as surprise encounters,” he said. “And so when people are out recreating, they come up on a bear and the bear is not expecting them or they're not expecting the bear, and that can sometimes prompt an attack, especially if there are cubs involved. So we tell people when they're out to make noise, travel in groups, let people know where you're going, and when you're heading out, carry bear spray. Those are really important things to do when you're out recreating.”

Lemon said the residents in bear country know how important it is to remove anything that might attract a bear.

“When you when you live in grizzly bear country, particularly people who live in the small rural communities in grizzly bear country, securing attractants like garbage or pet food or those sorts of things in a place where the grizzly bears aren't able to get into them is very important. Whether grizzly or black bears for that matter, so that they aren't able to get into them.”

KGVO is expecting a call from Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles later on Tuesday afternoon with more details about the fatal grizzly bear attack.

 

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