I spent 16 years living with black bears as neighbors, and it’s not big deal once you get used to it. There’s something very cool about seeing a bear in you neighborhood, as long as you (and your neighbors) know how to act around them. As Ben Story of Larkspur, Colorado found out, leaving a sandwich in your car, in bear country, probably isn’t going to end well.
Larkspur police received a complaint about an intermittent a car horn honking late at night. When officers arrived on the scene, they found Story’s car down an embankment, bear still inside and plenty pissed off. The bear, it seems, was smart enough to open the door from the outside (and yes, they really are that intelligent) but not from the inside. Once inside Story’s car, he chowed down on the sandwich, then panicked because he couldn’t get out. His thrashing around knocked the car out of gear, causing it to roll down the embankment. Bears may be good at breaking into cars, but driving them is skill they’ve yet to master.
Arriving police were reluctant to open the door by hand, so they rigged up a rope to open it remotely. Once freed, the bear headed off to find someplace quiet, leaving Story’s trashed car behind.
And just in case you think I’m blowing smoke about my own experience with bears, here’s a pic of one of our resident bruins, taken from my old front lawn. Good times.