Breaking into a car turns into a wild ride for one daredevil ursine.
Welcome to Colorado, where the bears are master thieves and pretty awful getaway drivers. On Independence Day of all days, while everyone else was popping off fireworks until the wee hours of the morning, a bear decided it was time to take a test drive in Colorado's unofficial state car with disastrous results.
According to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, the "delinquent" bear opened an unlocked car door in search of food inside and got more than he bargained for after "butt-shifting" the car into neutral.
"Last night a delinquent bear pulled open an unlocked driver's door and climbed in, and of course, the door closed behind it. The bear worked on digging out through all for doors, but apparently butt-shifted the car into neutral. The car rolled back and off the driveway and about 100 feet down the hill. The four-legged suspect swiped a tree, rendering the car undrivable, but in the process popped a door open, and fled on foot... er, on paws in an unknown direction," said the office's Facebook page.
The bear's rap sheet is about a mile long after this incident, but it fled the scene and neither hide nor hair has been seen of it since. The car did not fare so well, as the interior is "bearly" recognizable and the whole thing is undrivable.
All joking aside, the incident serves as another reminder to do our part to keep bears safe by removing any food temptation around our cars and homes. Like humans frequenting fast food, bears also love to hang out where easy food sources exist, such as campgrounds or cars. To keep everyone happy and healthy, particularly in our mountain communities and foothills, remove all food or garbage from your vehicle and secure waste in bear-proof containers. Lock your vehicles, which helps keep it safe from robbers of both the two-legged and four-legged variety.
"We stress it every year, small behaviors by people can make a huge difference for bears," said Tom Davies, Colorado Parks Wildlife district wildlife manager in Summit County. "We need people to keep cars and garages locked, keep attractants out of reach and properly use and lock bear-proof trash cans. When you are living in bear country, you have a responsibility to follow ordinances and be conscientious. If you don't, you should expect that we will be issuing warnings and fines."
Check out the checklist of things to do to keep yourself and bears safe.