Colorado teen bit by black bear woke up to 'crunching sound'

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David Novarro has the story of the Colorado camp staffer who was bit in the head by a bear while sleeping. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

A bear believed to be the one that attacked a Colorado camp staffer, biting him on the head, has been trapped and killed by wildlife officers.

The bear was trapped at around 4:30 a.m. Monday at Glacier View Ranch, where the 19-year-old was attacked as he slept outside. The attack happened at about the same time the day before at the camp 48 miles northwest of Denver

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill says the teen saw the captured bear and also believed it was the same one. Black bears aren't usually aggressive but have attacked several people in the west in recent weeks.

Wildlife officials will use DNA to verify bear's identity and look at whether it was sick or injured, which might explain its unusual behavior.

The teen staffer fought off a bear after waking up Sunday to find the animal biting his head and trying to drag him away. He woke up around 4 a.m. to a "crunching sound," with his head inside the the bear's mouth, 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.

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.

In other incidents, 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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