Camping teen awakens to ‘crunching sound’ as bear bites his head

Posted at 7:44 AM, Jul 10, 2017

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. - A staffer at a summer camp in Colorado received medical care after he was awakened early Sunday by a bear chewing on his head.

The 19-year-old victim only wanted to be identified as Dylan.

Dylan, who was sleeping outside at Glacier View Ranch, said he woke up when the bear wrapped its paw around him and bit his head. He said the bear was trying to "pull him away."

“About 4 this morning, I woke up to a crunching sound and me being drug. And I thought it was a dream at first, then I realized it wasn’t,” Dylan said.

He realized that crunching sound was the bear’s teeth biting into his skull.

“I did not know what going on. Once I saw the bear, heard it’s breath, it was pretty scary,” said Dylan.

The hulking animal dragged Dylan about 10 feet out of his sleeping bag while he slept under the stars with a few other camp staffers.

“I grabbed a hold of the bear by his ear and I found his eye and I was poking it. It just let go of me and I was able to get away,” he said.

The bear took off but it had injured him. Dylan was left with big gashes on his head that required nine staples.

Early morning attack

The attack happened about 4 a.m. Sunday when the animal wandered into a part of the camp where several staff members were sleeping, a press release from the summer camp said.

"Unprovoked, the bear proceeded to attack one staff member." The press release said that no campers were involved or in any danger.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill told KMGH that even though the unprovoked attack is not common black bear behavior, the animal will be removed.

“For a bear to walk up and bite a human and pull on them like that, that is a very dangerous bear that has gotten too comfortable with people and that is a threat to humans,” said Churchill.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will track or try to trap the bear and kill it.

“He was very lucky. He’s a brave kid. He’s a smart kid. He did everything right,” said Churchill.

She said Dylan knew how to fight off the bear and didn't do anything to lure the bear.

“Make sure you don’t have food in the camp. We didn’t. But still. Except me. I must have smelled really good or something,” Dylan joked.

Once the bear is caught and euthanized, Colorado State University will do a necropsy to determine if the bear had a medical condition that caused him to act so brazenly.