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Camper wakes up with head in bear’s mouth

Black bear Photo by BGSmith/Shutterstock.com

A teenage camp councillor got a nasty scare last weekend when he was woken by a “crunching sound.” The sound turned out to be coming from the mouth of the black bear that had clamped onto the young man’s head.

“The crunching noise, I guess, was the teeth scraping against the skull as it dug in,” the councillor, named Dylan, told Denver 7.

The animal then began to drag him away from his sleeping bag and his fellow campers.

“When it was dragging me, that was the slowest part. It felt like it went forever.”

Luckily, Dylan teaches wilderness survival and knew what to do during a bear encounter. The bear had dragged him about 12 feet from his group before he was able to get himself free. The other campers, who had been woken up, helped to fight the bear off. Eventually, it retreated.

Officials were concerned about this unprovoked attack, finding no food or bear attractants that would have lured the animal to the area. Jennifer Churchill, spokesperson for Colorado Parks & Wildlife, told CBS4 about setting traps and the decision to euthanize the bear.

“The reason we think this is such a dangerous situation and this was a dangerous bear is the unprovoked attack,” she said. “For an animal to come right up and bite on this gentleman and pull him 10-12 feet, that’s a very, very frightening situation.”

Due to the predatory nature of the attack (dragging the boy away from the others to separate his prey), the 280-pound male black bear believed to have initiated the attack was euthanized 24-hours after the incident.

The 19-year-old was taken to hospital and given staples for his injuries.

“I’m not afraid of the bears. I’m not afraid of sleeping outside anymore. You just have to be aware and respect the animals,” Dylan told Denver 7.