Powell County Sheriff Provides Fatal Bear Attack Update
Late Tuesday afternoon, KGVO News spoke to Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles about the fatal bear attack that occurred late Monday night or early Tuesday morning near Ovando.
Sheriff Roselles said an adult female was killed in the incident.
“Early this morning (Tuesday) between 3:30 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. County Dispatch was notified of a bear versus human encounter,” said Roselles. “We dispatched medical response from the Helmville Ovando Fire Department and the QRU. They arrived on scene and rendered medical care to an adult female who was camped at a site in the Orlando area.”
Sheriff Roselles said a search has been underway all day for the bear in question.
“Since then, the Powell County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have not only processed the scene and collected evidence, we have conducted a fairly large scale search of the area in Ovando both by ground and air, and we continue to search for the bear that was involved in the incident,” he said.
Roselles described the scope of the search.
“We concentrated our efforts in the immediate area of Ovando,” he said. “We covered everything within a mile or so, initially pretty intensely. We then worked out probably three to four miles outside of the Ovando area. We now have bear traps set up in the area. We are planning to conduct another air operation later this afternoon and again tomorrow morning, depending on what we find on subsequent searches.”
Roselles said he has closed the area to campers. It has not been officially confirmed that the woman was killed by a grizzly bear.
“For the immediate Ovando area, I have closed down any camping for the immediate area, we do continue to search for the bear and at this time it hasn't been located,” he said. “I just want to make sure that the general public knows that there is still a bear in the area. We're continuing to look for it, and at this time we haven't specifically identified that this incident involved a grizzly bear. We just know that it's a bear that was involved in it.”
The female victim’s name and age have not been released until her next of kin can be notified.