LARKSPUR, Colo. — A bear made a mess of a pickup truck when it got trapped inside while searching for food last weekend in Larkspur, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).
It's the second time in a week that a bear got inside a car in Larkspur. This is the time of year when bears come out of hibernation and go on the search for food, and CPW urged people to be "bear aware" to help prevent human-bear conflicts.
The homeowner took video of the encounter after finding the adult bear in their truck outside their house just after 6 p.m. Sunday, said CPW spokesman Jason Clay.
> The video above is of the bear stuck in the pickup.
There were child seats in the pickup that likely had food scraps that attracted the bear. The wind then closed the door behind the bear, trapping it inside, CPW said.
The homeowner waited for a Douglas County Sheriff's Office deputy to arrive, and they worked together to attach a rope to the door handle. From the safety of the garage, they opened the door, and the bear ran out, CPW said.
The homeowners shot video of the bear's exit from the safety of their deck.
Bears can open unlocked vehicle doors, but when the doors close behind them, they can't get out. When that happens the bear rips apart the inside of the vehicle.
CPW said it received 3,701 reports of sightings and conflicts with bears in 2021, which was a 28% decrease from the average number of reports over the previous two years.
Here are some tips from CPW on how to be bear aware:
- Never leave trash or recyclables out overnight. Even empty cans and boxes smell like food. If you must leave trash outside, buy or build a bear-proof container. Clean containers regularly with ammonia or bleach.
- Take down bird feeders during months when bears are active. Letting your bird feeders turn into bear feeders teaches bears that it's safe to come close to people and homes looking for food.
- Don't feed bears, and don't put out food for other wildlife that attracts bears.
- Burn food off barbeque grills and clean after use.
- Keep all bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked, including home, garage and vehicle doors.
- Don't leave food, trash, coolers, air fresheners or anything that smells in your vehicle.
- If you see a bear near your home, do your best to chase it away by blowing a whistle, clapping your hands and making other loud noises. Don't approach or corner a bear.
> Top stories curated daily just for you! Sign up for the 9NEWSLETTER to get can’t-miss stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more delivered right to your inbox.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Animals and Wildlife