Black bear climbs in car, pigs out on food, causes $15,000 damage DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — We’ve all heard a locked car door is your first line of defense against car break-ins, but you might not realize that applies to break-ins from both humans and bears.
A couple from Castle Pines in Douglas County woke up to the sound of their car horn at 3 a.m. Monday morning, and they called 911 thinking that someone was trying to steal their car from their driveway. Instead, they found a black bear behind the wheel.
“Our bears are really smart,” said Jennifer Churchill, a public information officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “If the door’s not locked and it’s one of those lift-latch doors they can get in there.”
Not only was the car in this case unlocked, the bear had reason to want in.
“Actually smelled some takeout or leftovers from dinner that the folks had left in their car,” Churchill said.
The bear didn’t just tear up the leftover food. It did about $15,000 in damage as it tried, and failed, to find a way out.
“For the most part, when animals are trapped like that, I think they can get pretty stressed out and agitated,” Churchill said. “Just like we would.”
Of course black bear sightings are common in plenty of Colorado neighborhoods, and Churchill says these unintentional bear traps also happen more than you might think.
“A few years ago in Highlands Ranch, a bear got into a car, flipped the emergency break and rolled all the way down a hill in the car,” Churchill said. “It was still locked in when our officer came to get it out.”
In both the Highlands Ranch case and the one on Monday in Castle Pines, Parks and Wildlife officers fixed the problem by simply opening the car door and letting the bear run away.
“I don’t think we’ve ever heard from that bear in Highlands Ranch again,” Churchill said. “I think he took off like a shot. He may be on the west slope by now.”
They believe the bear in Castle Pines will also disappear for good, but Parks and Wildlife wants to remind homeowners in bear-prone neighborhoods that they should keep their windows, doors and cars locked tight, especially now.
“It’s important to keep in mind that this is the time of year,” Churchill said. “Hyperfasia is when the bears need to eat like 10,000 calories a day, in order to pack on pounds to get through their hibernation during the winter.”
Wildlife officials say bears aren’t usually aggressive unless you are standing between them and an exit route.
Bear attacks Parry Sound area home 3 times, shot by owner Carling Township family says MNR wouldn't come and trap bear after first attack A woman in Carling Township, north of Parry Sound, Ont., says she felt trapped for weeks while a nuisance bear repeatedly returned to her home, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
And she says she's flabbergasted by the response she received from the MNR. Terri Welch had a bear return to her house twice, destroying the siding, tearing out insulation, and even shoving its paw through her back screen door. At one point the bear reached inside and randomly grabbed and pulled items from the house.
Welch said she called the MNR and was told the ministry would not help her with the bear.
Instead, she said she was told to try shooting it with a paintball gun or throwing rocks at it, or shoot it herself.
bear attack on house, parry sound It's going to cost Terri Welch's insurance company $5,000 to fix the damage that was caused by a rogue bear. The bear attacked her home in Carling Township, north of Parry Sound, Ont., twice. One its third approach, her husband shot the bear. She says there wasn't any garbage or bird feeders outside and thinks the bear may have been ill and acting erratically. (Supplied by Terri Welch)
"I assumed calling them would mean that someone would come, and trap the bear, take the bear, [or] at least investigate what he had done.”
The MNR said it no longer traps and releases bears because they've found the bears usually return.
That statement was little comfort to Welch, who said the bear “actually had his paw inside our back door. He had ripped the screen off."
Welch said she occasionally sees bears in her neighbourhood, but she has never dealt with one like this.
Her family woke up one morning to find a bear had torn off the siding of her house, ripping out drywall and insulation.
When the bear returned a third time, Welch's husband shot it.
A spokesperson for the ministry said if people feel they are in danger from a bear, they should phone 911.
In the meantime, Welch said the bear attack on her house has had a lasting effect on her young family.
Grizzly smashes into side of car on Jasper highway Bear caused $5,400 in damage to side of car
While collisions on the the highway are not unheard of, the one thing you maybe don’t expect to be hit with while driving is a grizzly bear.
But that’s exactly what one Jasper woman said happened to her.
Sylvie McKenzie said she was driving along a highway a few kilometres west of Jasper when she noticed two bears running along the road ahead.She said she slowed down to let the bears cross the road, but only the female bear did so.
The second bear – a male – simply stopped and stared at her.
McKenzie said she then started driving, putting her car between the two bears.
Sylvie McKenzie Asked whether she has any advice for drivers caught in the same situation in the future, McKenzie had simple advice: 'Stop, turn around, wait for a few minutes and go back.' (CBC)
"The male didn't like it at all, so he decided to take his feet, charge and hit my car with his two front paws," she said. "[He] just came and pounced on my car with full force and full speed."
McKenzie said the car rocked violently when the bear hit it, giving her a close-up view of the bear’s face.
"I could see his teeth, the drool on his face. I tried to speed up and put my foot on the gas pedal to get away as fast as I could."
Later, she found grizzly prints all over the side of her car, along with two big dents and several scratches.