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19-year-old camp staffer bit in head by bear wakes up to “crunching sound”

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WARD, Colorado — Wildlife officers are searching for a black bear that attacked a Colorado camp staffer and bit him on the head as he slept outdoors near campers.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill says the 19-year-old woke up at around 4 a.m. Sunday, July 9th to a “crunching sound” with his head inside the mouth of the bear, which was trying to pull him out of his sleeping bag.

She says the teen punched and hit it and other staffers at Glacier View Ranch 48 miles (77 kilometers) northwest of Denver yelled and swatted at the bear, which ran away. The staffer was treated briefly at a hospital.

He was left with big gashes on his head.

Black bears aren’t usually aggressive but they recently attacked a woman in a popular hiking area in Idaho and killed two people in Alaska.

Glacier View Ranch is a Christian retreat and conference center and is owned and operated by the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, according to their website.

Their website states that there were two camps going on for “tweens” and teenagers, and another scheduled to start Sunday.

Kiefer Dooley, the GVR Summer Camp Director, said none of the children attending summer camp were threatened or harmed in any way.

“Our current camp session concludes today with over 100 happy tween campers heading home,” GVR officials stated. “The summer camp program will continue as normal and we’re looking forward to our final week of camp with nearly 100 teen campers from July 9 to July 16, 2017.”

“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. As such, we train our staff for contact, interaction and incidents with wildlife including moose, wild cats and bears,” GVR officials stated.