Locking your car doors is a good idea in general, but in Estes Park, Colorado, a bear recently demonstrated why.
Over 8 vehicles were opened by a bear in one night, according to Wildlife Officer Rylands of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region (CPW NE).
Not all of the vehicles had food or other items that are known to attract bears, but some bears will simply go from “car to car” looking for unlocked ones and checking anyway, according to a tweet by CPW NE.
In @TownofEstesPark, Wildlife Officer Rylands observed 8 vehicles overnight that a bear got into. ALL 8 vehicles were UNLOCKED.
While not all of the vehicles had food or attractants, some bears go from car to car just to see if they’re unlocked, then hope to find food. pic.twitter.com/DzDnmPMQ1o
— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) August 8, 2021
“Make it a routine to lock ALL your windows and doors for both your vehicle and home. This is for your safety and for the lives of these amazing and resourceful creatures,” the Wildlife Twitter account added.
Make it a routine to lock ALL your windows and doors for both your vehicle and home. This is for your safety and for the lives of these amazing and resourceful creatures.
— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) August 8, 2021
Some commenters on Twitter expressed incredulity and skepticism about bears being responsible:
…We’re sure it was a bear?
— Curami (@AmiCuriosity) August 9, 2021
However, bears opening unlocked cars is not new, and not confined to Colorado. Yellowstone National Park has recorded multiple videos of bears breaking into vehicles. Another video captures a bear opening a car door in Thornton, New Hampshire. The bears of North Carolina appear to have mastered the art as well.
Bears are among the frontrunners of the animal kingdom in terms of their sense of smell, considered the best of any land mammal. With the ability to pick up a scent over a mile away, they run laps around even the finest dogs, with a nose roughly 7 times as powerful as the best bloodhounds.
Humans doing foolish things with bears isn’t new, such as with the woman who deliberately approached a Grizzly for a photo op, or approaching a black bear in order to put “Trump 2020” stickers on it. Also, one should generally abstain from trying to physically shove a bear, even if its to protect your pet dog, as was seen in a video in June that went viral.
In a now-viral TikTok post, 17-year old Hailey Morinico of California was seen literally pushing a bear that climbed over a concrete wall as she attempted to save her dogs. The teen was praised for her bravery despite the many reminders about safety.
“Following viewing etiquette is the first step to avoiding an encounter with a bear that could escalate into an attack. Keeping your distance and not surprising bears are some of the most important things you can do. Most bears will avoid humans if they hear them coming,” the National Park Service warns.
As bizarre as this may seem, perhaps @Amberherself summed up the strangest thing of all:
I find it weird that people would leave their car unlocked anywhere. Bears or not.
— amber (@amberherself) August 8, 2021
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