Teen Camp Staffer Wakes Up To Bear Biting His Head, Trying To Drag Him Away

WARD, Colo. (CBS/AP) — A teen staffer at a Colorado camp fought off a bear after waking up Sunday to find the animal biting his head and trying to drag him away.

The 19-year-old woke up at around 4 a.m. to a “crunching sound” with his head inside the mouth of the bear, which was trying to pull him out of his sleeping bag as he slept outside at Glacier View Ranch 48 miles northwest of Denver, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said. The teen punched and hit it and other staffers who were sleeping nearby yelled and swatted at the bear, which eventually left, she said.

The staffer, identified only as Dylan, was treated briefly at a hospital and released.

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The teen told KMGH-TV that the bear dragged him ten to 12 feet before he was able to free himself.

“The crunching noise, I guess, was the teeth scraping against the skull as it dug in,” said the teen, who teaches wilderness survival at the camp owned by the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.

Dylan and the other staffers were near teepees where 12- and 13-year-old campers were sleeping. None of them were hurt.

CBS Denver reports the bear believed to be the one who attacked the camp staffer has been trapped and euthanized.

Black bears aren’t usually aggressive but have attacked several people in the West in recent weeks.

A woman and her dogs were attacked on Tuesday after they apparently surprised an adult bear and her cub in a huckleberry patch in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

Last month, black bears killed two people in Alaska in separate attacks.

Sixteen-year-old Patrick “Jack” Cooper of Anchorage was killed after he got lost and veered off a trail during a mountain race south of Anchorage. Mine contract worker Erin Johnson of Anchorage died and her co-worker was injured in a mauling about 275 miles northeast of Anchorage.

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Black bears will defend their young and have been known to paw and bite tents with food inside.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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