Authorities Kill Bear Believed to Have Attacked Teen in Colorado

July 10, 2017 4:58 pm Last Updated: July 11, 2017 3:05 pm

Park and Wildlife officials have captured and euthanized a bear that they believe attacked a young man at a campsite in Boulder County early Sunday morning.

The 19-year-old, identified only as Dylan, worked for Glacier View Ranch, a Christian camp.

He and other staffers were spending a night in sleeping bags when, at about 4 a.m., Dylan woke up to a crunching sound and a bear biting his head, he told Denver7.

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

He tried to hit the bear first. He then found its eye. “I started poking its eye with my fingers as hard as I could,” he told CBS Evening News.

The bear dragged him 10-12 feet while the other campers tried to scare it away. The bear eventually left on its own, leaving Dylan with multiple gashes on his head that needed nine staples.

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

The Park and Wildlife authorities set up three bear traps around the campsite and on Monday, around 4:30 a.m., captured a 280-pound bear. After showing it to Dylan, they concluded it was likely the one responsible for the attack. They then euthanized the bear.

The attacks put the camp staff in a difficult position, as they had to explain the situation to two groups of parents, one of the campers who were just leaving and another of the campers who were arriving on the day of the attack.

The Adventist church that oversees the camp said in a statement that “campers were not threatened or involved at any time” during the attack and that the staff is trained on how to deal with wildlife encounters.

This was the fifth bear killed in Colorado over the past week. On Wednesday, July 5, two bears were shot by homeowners after the bears entered their homes. Two more bears were euthanized by the authorities, one for killing a llama in Cortez and another after it killed pigs and chickens in Pagosa Springs.