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10 July 2017

Staffer at teen camp awakes to ‘crunching sound’ of teeth biting him

A teen staffer at a US Colorado camp, who gave only his first name, Dylan, describes how he fought off a bear after waking up to find the animal biting his head and trying to drag him away on Sunday, July 9, 2017. Picture: KMGH-TV via AP.

Warning: Graphic content.

A TEEN staffer at a US camp fought off a bear after waking up to find the animal biting his head and trying to drag him away.

The 19-year-old woke up at around 4am yesterday 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 77km northwest of Denver.

The teen, identified only as Dylan, teaches wilderness survival at the camp owned by the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said Dylan punched the bear as other staffers who had been sleeping nearby yelled and swatted at the animal, until it eventually left.

Dylan was treated briefly at a hospital and later released.

He told KMGH-TV that the bear dragged him 3 — 3.5m before he was able to free himself.

“The crunching noise, I guess, was the teeth scraping against the skull as it dug in,” Dylan said.

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

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

Black bears aren’t usually aggressive but they recently attacked a woman in a popular hiking area in Idaho and killed two people in Alaska. AP/Toby Talbot.

Black bears aren’t usually aggressive but they recently attacked a woman in a popular hiking area in Idaho and killed two people in Alaska. AP/Toby Talbot.Source:AP

A teen staffer at a US Colorado camp, who gave only his first name, Dylan, describes how he fought off a bear after waking up to find the animal biting his head and trying to drag him away on Sunday, July 9, 2017. Picture: KMGH-TV via AP.

A teen staffer at a US Colorado camp, who gave only his first name, Dylan, describes how he fought off a bear after waking up to find the animal biting his head and trying to drag him away on Sunday, July 9, 2017. Picture: KMGH-TV via AP.Source:AP

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 442km northeast of Anchorage.

Black bears will defend their young and have been known to paw and bite tents with food inside. After the Colorado attack wildlife officers did not find any food that would have attracted the bear so have set bear traps in the area and plan to continue a search for the bear with scent dogs on Monday. The bear’s behaviour was so atypical that any bear found in the traps in the next few days will likely be euthanized and officials will test later to see if it was the same bear involved in the attack using DNA evidence, Ms Churchill said.

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