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Survival teen woke to find his head in wild bear's mouth

A teenager who teaches wilderness survival put his skills to the test when he woke to find his head in a bear's mouth.

Dylan, 19, awoke to the "crunching noise" at 4am while sleeping outside with fellow staffers looking after a younger group of teens.

He fought the black bear while the 12- and 13-year-olds slept in nearby teepees at the Colorado camp.

"The crunching noise, I guess, was the teeth scraping against the skull as it dug in," the survivor recounted to KMGH-TV.

Dylan was persuaded to sleep rough by his friends as they looked after the younger group. Credit: KMGH

"He grabbed me ... and pulled me. And then it bit the back of my head and dragged me," he added.

"When it was dragging me that was the slowest part, it felt like it went forever."

The bear dragged the camp staffer 12 feet in his sleeping bag before Dylan was able to free himself.

Black bears are usually not aggressive towards humans. Credit: AP

He and his friends fought off the black bear, a breed that is historically not aggressive but has been linked to a spate of recent attacks in North America.

None of the younger campers sleeping in the teepees was hurt in Sunday's attack.

Dylan was treated at a hospital and released with only a few stitches.

Dylan suffered scratches to his forehead. Credit: KMGH

The attack occurred at Glacier View Ranch, around 50 miles northwest of Denver, after Dylan had been persuaded to sleep rough.

"I usually don't but they asked me and I said 'sure', so that's what I did," he said. "I guess (it was my) lucky night."

The teeth marks led to stitches and staples. Credit: KMGH