According to officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, a 19-year-old man was attacked by a black bear while sleeping beside a campfire early Sunday morning.
The victim, wishing to only be identified as Dylan, was awakened by the jarring feeling that something was terribly wrong as what he later identified as a black bear, wrapped its paw around him and took a bite out of his head.
“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 told KDVR.
As part of a retreat with Glacier View Ranch, a Christian retreat and conference center, Dylan was on one of the camps taking place for “tweens” and teenagers over the weekend and was soundly sleeping outside of a tent when the attack happened.
“The bear grabbed my head with his paw and pulled it like this. Then, grabbed the back of my head,” Dylan said.
“I did not know what going on. Once I saw the bear, heard it’s breath, it was pretty scary,” said Dylan.
Dragging the young man roughly 10 feet from where he slept, Dylan did the only thing he figured would deter the bear, he fought back.
“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 finally retreated but left Dylan with cuts and gaping gashes scattered across the top of his head. Immediately following the attack, officials from the retreat tended to Dylan’s injuries while they waited for emergency personnel to arrive. He was eventually taken to Boulder Community Health were he was treated for his injuries, which included nine staples to one area of his head.
“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 Jennifer Churchill with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
While certainly uncharacteristic of black bears, attacks like this one happen from time to time and are often provoked by bears who have become overly accustomed to human presence.
Given the circumstances of the attack, Colorado wildlife officials are attempting to locate the bear to trap and kill the animal so as to prevent any future attacks. As with many specimens in these types of unprovoked attacks, the animal will be sent to Colorado State University for further testing if captured.
h/t: KDVR/FOX 31 Denver