US & Canada

Colorado bear drives car after getting stuck inside

The steering wheel was ripped off the column and the interior was torn apart Image copyright Ron Cornelius via Durangoherald.com
Image caption The steering wheel was ripped off the column and the interior was torn apart

A bear that got stuck in a car in the US state of Colorado took a short joyride before crashing, police say.

Durango resident Ron Cornelius awoke to find a Subaru SUV crashed at the bottom of the hill at the end of his driveway.

"Usually, I don't get up at 5 o'clock unless there is a bear driving a car down the street," he joked to the Durango Herald newspaper.

Two or three bears get stuck in cars each week in the area, officials say.

The black bears have been searching for food inside cars because their typical food supply was decimated by a late season frost, La Plata County Sheriff's office spokesman Dan Bender told the BBC.

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Media captionWhen a bear gets trapped in your car

Some bears have even learned to open car door handles, Mr Bender said, but added that this is the "first time they attempted to drive off with the car".

The bear was not able to start the car, he explains, but at some point the bear must have released the gear, causing it to roll backwards downhill, crushing Mr Cornelius' mailbox.

Mr Cornelius and his wife initially suspected robbers, but the actual culprit became clear after they looked inside and viewed all the damage - plus the fresh bear excrement.

The back window had been shattered, the radio was ripped out, and the steering wheel was pulled completely off the shaft.

"It would have taken a human being hours to do what this bear did in a couple minutes," said Mr Cornelius.

Local officials advise that people always remove food from their cars, and keep the doors locked.


More bear crime

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Media captionBears have been roaming the streets of in Romania scavenging for food
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Media captionJoyriding bear spotted in Colorado

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