It wasn't just a nightmare for 19-year-old Dylan, a Colorado camp counselor, who woke up being dragged across the campsite by a bear, his head in the bear's jaw. It was absolute reality.If you think the stories of aggressive bears seem plentiful this year, you're right. And they just keep getting crazier. In the early morning hours of Sunday, July 9, a black bear took a bite out of Dylan's skull, then attempted to drag him out of his sleeping bag, moving him between 10 and 12 feet. A "crunching sound" was what roused Dylan, 19, from a peaceful sleep under the stars -- a sound he believes was the bear's jaw clamping down on his head and teeth digging into his skull. Four other Glacier View Ranch staffers were sleeping nearby and woke to Dylan struggling against the bear, punching him and hitting him. They came to his aid, and the bear eventually ran off.
I just started hitting the bear as hard as I could," Dylan, who teaches wildlife survival skills at the camp, told KCNC Channel 4. "And I found its eye, and I started poking its eye with my fingers ... I feel really lucky -- if I would have been turned any other direction, it could have gotten the side of my face or my neck."Dylan's quick thinking and utilization of his survival training and knowledge very likely saved his life. On-campus medical personnel inspected his injuries and stabilized him while waiting for EMTs to arrive on site. He was then transported to a Boulder hospital, where he received staples in his head and was later released.
Colorado Parks & Wildlife set up three bear traps on the camp's property, and a 280-pound male bear was caught Monday morning, whom Dylan believed was the same animal. It was later euthanized because of its atypical aggressive behavior. Glacier View Ranch is a Christian summer camp and retreat center located approximately 48 miles northwest of Denver. It is owned by the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh Day Adventists. Campers (ages 12 to 13) were sleeping in nearby teepees at the time of the incident, while staff slept outside. [caption id="attachment_18939" align="aligncenter" width="575"] Image from Pinterest (not the bear in the story)[/caption]
"I'm not afraid of the bears. I'm not afraid of sleeping outside anymore," Dylan told KMGH Channel 7. "You just have to be aware and respect the animals." Wildlife officials searched for food or anything that may have attracted the bear, but found none. "Due to its location in the mountains, just several miles from Rocky Mountain National Park, we anticipate contact with various wildlife throughout the summer camp season," Glacier View Ranch said in a statement on their Facebook page. "As such, we train our staff for contact, interaction, and incidents with wildlife, including moose, wild cats, and bears."It's a good thing! We are so glad Dylan is all right after waking up with his head in a bear's jaw! Do you have a crazy bear story? Let us know in the comments below!