DOWNIEVILLE (CBS13) – Bears are opportunistic eaters – and as you can see in a video recently taken by a Sierra County resident, a car can quickly become a lunch pail.
More California black bears are surfacing in populated areas as this is the middle of their mating season.
For those living in bear country, they are getting a little too close for comfort.
“This noise right now in my car moving back and forth, is because a bear is trapped inside my car,” Lynn Zanetta said in the video.
A curious black bear got into Zanetta’s Subaru in Downieville but was unable to get out.
“He must have gotten in, got stuck and now he’s destroying it,” Zanetta said.
Living in forested Sierra County for nearly 30 years, she’s familiar with these mischievous mammals – but this is a first.
While waiting for the professionals to arrive, she stays surprisingly calm and narrated the scene as her car turned into lunch.
“Look, see, there he goes, honking the horn while he destroys it. There goes my Subi!” Zanetta said.
Zanetta says she’s vigilant about making sure her car isn’t a target for bears, keeping food and anything else tempting out.
And recently, a similar scene unfolded in North Lake Tahoe.
Placer County Sheriff’s Deputy David Lade was called to an apartment complex in Carnelian Bay where a black bear was once again trapped.
Much like Zanetta’s car, this vehicle stood no chance.
“None of the doors activated and that was because they were completely destroyed on the inside; all the wire was ripped out of them,” Deputy Lade said.
With his sergeant lighting the car behind him, Deputy Lade’s only option was to break the window.
This thin piece of glass the only thing separating him from a very angry bear.
“When I tried to break the window the first time I didn’t hit it real hard because I didn’t want my arm to go through the window with the bear inside of it,” Deputy Lade said.
The deputy burst open the window and barely made it away in time.
But in bear country, it won’t be long until another tale like this returns.
“You could stop 90 percent of this if you just lock your car because if the door is locked they won’t be able to access the inside of your car,” Deputy Lade said.
Experts say when in bear country, don’t leave anything in your car that might put off an odor – and be sure to use the proper bear bins and canisters.