Colorado Parks and Wildlife tracked down the bear that attacked a 19-year-old man early Sunday morning at a campground in Boulder County.
The sheriff there says the incident happened around 4:15 a.m. Sunday morning at Glacier View Ranch, a religious retreat and camp west of Jamestown.
“There's four spots where its claws dug into me,” said Dylan, the 19-year-old who was attacked as he gestured towards his head. “And then it pulled me into its mouth and then it grabbed me with its teeth right back here, and when it pulled it tore the skin and scraped along my skull which was like the cracking noise that I heard.”
It would not be an exaggeration to call Dylan’s survival miraculous. A survival instructor at his camp, it only took him a few hours in the hospital to recover from his injuries.
CPW says the bear attacked unprovoked meaning there wasn’t open food or scented clothing in Dylan’s vicinity.
He was sleeping outside in a teepee along with four other counselors at the time.
“I thought I was dreaming for a second and then I thought this hurts too bad to be dreaming,” Dylan said.
CPW made finding the bear a top priority for the agency, which sent out bloodhounds to help. There have been bear sightings in the area, but it's unclear if this was the same animal involved in the attack.
“We need to chase these animals off. They need to have a healthy natural fear of people,” said CPW spokeswoman Jen Churchill. “This is really a bear that could be a continual threat to people in this community.”
Camping will resume as normal at Glacier View Ranch. The last human death from a bear attack was in 2009.
Churchill says bears need to know your presence that's why they say you should always make noise and fight back if necessary.
Colorado Parks and wildlife was able to capture the bear at the camp around 4:30 a.m. Monday morning.
Dylan was able to see the bear and believes it was the one who attacked him.
The bear weighed 285 pounds and is believed to be around four years old.
Authorities are conducting a necropsy on the bear to determine if the animal was injured or ill -- both of these things would explain aggressive behavior, Churchill said.
Wildlife officials are also searching the claws, teeth and stomach contents for evidence.