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Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...

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Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 08:22AM
We stayed at a cabin at Mono Village these last 2 weeks (outside of Bridgeport on Upper Twin Lake). I and my family have visited Yosemite and the Eastern Sierras many times for decades. We KNOW what not to leave in a car as far as bears go. But.......
My wife and I were visiting friends at another cabin and as we got up from the campfire to return to our cabin at about 9:30 P.M. I heard a "pow" and thought it was a bear knocking over a trash can nearby. Bears are all over this little resort even during the day. Upon returning to our cabin I was going to check the cars and roll up the windows tight. As we walked by our Ford Escape parked in front of the cabin my wife was on the side closest to the car (about one foot away from the driver's side). She happened to glance over into the driver's side window and jumped right into me yelling, "There's a bear in our car!". (There's somehting you don't hear every day). I looked over and sure enough there was a bear sitting in the driver's seat staring at us through the driver's window! (There's a sight you don't see every day) I immediately knew what the "pow' sound was and saw that the passenger side window was blown out. I immediately remembered what a bear did to another car up there a few years ago (ate out most of the inside of the car including seats and dash) so my immediate thought was, " I have to get this bear out of my car immediately." I started to bang on the hood and yell at it. It just sat there and loooked at me as if saying "What's your problem dude?"
I walked over to the driver's side and started banging on the windshield. We were only about a foot away from each other separated by the windshield. As I banged on the windshield it thrust it's face forward towards me and let out a snarly growl. I retreated to the front of the car and banged and yelled some more. This time it stuck its snout outside the slightly open driver's door window and hissed and snarled at me. This bear obviously was not afraid of people. After about 2 more minutes of this standoff I started to bounce the car up and down and side to side. It didn't like that and got up and started to head for the window it had broken. By this time people were gathering behind me. It stopped and looked at me and gave me one more snarl/growl and climbed out the window. I was at the driver's side now and once it went out I watched for it but couldn't see it. I thought, "Oh no, it's going to come around the car towards me". I started to back up and then finally saw it walking away from the car. After about 20 ft. it stopped, turned around, and gave me one more snarl and left.

Inside the car was blood on the seats (those glass chards are sharp), bear hair all over the window frame where he had squeezed through, and bear slobber here and there. Glass was inside and outside the car and on the top of the car and on the hood. The passenger door interior had some damage. I looked for the culprit that attracted it and found some shredded tin foil on the floor. I looked at my wife and she sheepishly said, "Uh oh, I forgot to get the brownies (homemade) out of the center console."

That bear beat me to the car by about 4 minutes as I was on my way to check out the cars and close all the windows. My family knows better than to leave food in cars in those areas but since the brownies in the center console weren't out in the open for them to see they forgot about them. The bear apparently opened and closed the center console with no damage.

Luckily I was able to get a glass company to come out from Gardnerville NV. (80 miles away) to put a new window in the car. Needless to say we inspected both cars inch by inch for food (which we normally do) the rest of the trip, including the center consoles. The people who work at Mono Village knew exactly which bear it was as it has been getting into stuff all summer long there. My car was quite the tourist attraction for a couple days. People who were staying there in the campground and the cabins came around to see the damage.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2011 08:24AM by mtn man.
avatar Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 08:39AM
Good thing the keys weren't in the ignition. : - )

Get a photo of the bear in the driver's seat?
Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 09:09AM
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vdrummer
Good thing the keys weren't in the ignition. : - )

Get a photo of the bear in the driver's seat?

No, was too intense on getting it out to send the wife to get the camera. Would have been an interesting picture. Took pictures of the aftermath. The insurance company adjuster got a laugh out if it when I made the claim.
Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 10:19AM
Wow! I just took my breath mints out of the center console in preparation for our trip.
Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 10:49AM
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Mom
Wow! I just took my breath mints out of the center console in preparation for our trip.

gotta double/triple check everything. Not just for stuff that's edible. Deodorant, toothpaste, etc. Years ago, a family friend had one of their windows broken too, but the bear was scared off before it could get inside.
avatar Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 11:55AM
Unfortunately, it sounds like this bear should be shot. As fall approaches, the feeding intensity will only increase and, while I am not concerned about property damage, there is likely to be some injury to humans before the final chapter is written on this animal.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 01:53PM
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mtn man

That bear beat me to the car by about 4 minutes as I was on my way to check out the cars and close all the windows.

Don't worry about that. It wouldn't have mattered, unless part of your routine procedure when you're securing your windows tight is to check the center console compartment for food and other scented material.

I tend to get paranoid about leaving food (or other scented items) inside my car in bear country, so when I unload my car while staying in bear country, I carefully comb the car (and every compartment within my car) for any item that might attract the bear. That includes looking underneath the seats with a flashlight, checking the maps and document pockets located on the back of the front seats, the crevices between the seat cushions of the back seats, and of course, my center console compartment. It usually takes about 10 minutes for me to throughly comb though my car to insure I hadn't inadvertently forgotten to remove any item that needs to be removed from the car.
Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 03:05PM
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plawrence
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mtn man

That bear beat me to the car by about 4 minutes as I was on my way to check out the cars and close all the windows.

Don't worry about that. It wouldn't have mattered, unless part of your routine procedure when you're securing your windows tight is to check the center console compartment for food and other scented material.

I tend to get paranoid about leaving food (or other scented items) inside my car in bear country, so when I unload my car while staying in bear country, I carefully comb the car (and every compartment within my car) for any item that might attract the bear. That includes looking underneath the seats with a flashlight, checking the maps and document pockets located on the back of the front seats, the crevices between the seat cushions of the back seats, and of course, my center console compartment. It usually takes about 10 minutes for me to throughly comb though my car to insure I hadn't inadvertently forgotten to remove any item that needs to be removed from the car.

I'm making everyone in my family read your post. It's a good tutorial on how to bear proof your car.
Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 02:33PM
Thanksfully you got him out of there before he stripped the inside...Thanks for posting this, it will definitely make my triple check my car, like others have stated.

Don't feel bad, I recently did something really stupid. I went out hiking, in my local hills, and came back to find my car broken into. I was dumb and hid my purse under the front seat of my car and came back to find my driver's window shattered and my purse gone. I knew better, I saw glass piles here-and-there for weeks. I now carry my crap on my back, in a backpack purse. It only takes once and you learn, I guess. I have to learn the hard way, unfortunately.
avatar Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 02:43PM
I don't think you did anything really wrong leaving your purse underneath your car seat, unless you think it was a wild animal that broke in and stole it.

Never blame yourself if you're the victim of the actions of a criminal. Leaving one's purse underneath one's car seat out of sight of passersby ought to sufficient to prevent it from being stolen. It's just a sad commentary on our society that it wasn't.
avatar Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 02:49PM
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mtn man
After about 2 more minutes of this standoff I started to bounce the car up and down and side to side. It didn't like that and got up and started to head for the window it had broken. By this time people were gathering behind me. It stopped and looked at me and gave me one more snarl/growl and climbed out the window.

Might be a last resort, but if you had a car alarm and a panic button your key, triggering the alarm could get a bear out.
avatar Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 03:01PM
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vdrummer
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mtn man
After about 2 more minutes of this standoff I started to bounce the car up and down and side to side. It didn't like that and got up and started to head for the window it had broken. By this time people were gathering behind me. It stopped and looked at me and gave me one more snarl/growl and climbed out the window.

Might be a last resort, but if you had a car alarm and a panic button your key, triggering the alarm could get a bear out.

Last resort?

That would be my first resort – not necessarily because I think it would be successful, but simply because it would be one of the quickest and easiest things to do. wink
Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 08:00PM
Sounds like one hell of a ride with that bear


I make sure to check my car for anything that is scented, or had anything scented attached to it. Candy wrappers, bottle wrappers, caps, etc. My car is usually packed with people whenever I get to Yosemite, so after a 6 hour trip, it's usually littered with various wraps.
Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 14, 2011 09:28PM
My first "Car Clout by Bear" investigation occurred in Bridalveil Campground in the summer of 1970, and it certainly appears that the mother bears have been instructing their cubs in the fine art of auto burglary ever since. I've been reading of this growing phenomenon in the Sierras for years, and I hope they don't transplant any Black Bear to the Yellowstone region. I've heard of grizzlies using the top of a pickup truck for a trampoline, but they generally don't break into a vehicle.
Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 15, 2011 07:03AM
Too bad you missed the photo op. bear

We are headed into bear country Thursday and are pretty much ready to roll. However, there have been numerous discussions on what exactly we have to worry about regarding bears. We know all of the obvious or normal items that need to be in bear cannisters. Most of the discussion has centered around first aide kits. Our cannisters are filled to the rim. It is to the point that on the trail we will have to hang overflow items. Also, we have a very well stocked first aide kit in our car. Any thoughts out there on whether or not we need to leave it at home or will that one item be OK in the trunk of our car?

Thanks all !!!
avatar Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 15, 2011 07:14AM
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bigpapa
Too bad you missed the photo op. bear

We are headed into bear country Thursday and are pretty much ready to roll. However, there have been numerous discussions on what exactly we have to worry about regarding bears. We know all of the obvious or normal items that need to be in bear cannisters. Most of the discussion has centered around first aide kits. Our cannisters are filled to the rim. It is to the point that on the trail we will have to hang overflow items. Also, we have a very well stocked first aide kit in our car. Any thoughts out there on whether or not we need to leave it at home or will that one item be OK in the trunk of our car?

Thanks all !!!

You can always leave the first night's dinner, and anything you'll eat on day 1, out of the bear canister. I'd think first a first aid kit would be ok in the car.
avatar Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 15, 2011 07:16AM
I stayed at Mono Village a few years ago and I remember going through my car before the trip. I thought I got everything out but once there realized that I forgot about the air fresheners that clip into my vents. Seems like a small thing but it is scented and I don't want to think about what could have been! A former co-worker was there in his camper a few years ago and woke up to bear paw prints all over the hood of his truck. Luckily no scratches though.

The bears in the Mono Village area as well as Virginia Creek are very active and present. They aren't watched or controlled the way they are in Yosemite.
Re: Bear broke into my car. You'd think we'd know better by now...
August 15, 2011 08:22AM
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robinjayp
I stayed at Mono Village a few years ago and I remember going through my car before the trip. I thought I got everything out but once there realized that I forgot about the air fresheners that clip into my vents. Seems like a small thing but it is scented and I don't want to think about what could have been! A former co-worker was there in his camper a few years ago and woke up to bear paw prints all over the hood of his truck. Luckily no scratches though.

The bears in the Mono Village area as well as Virginia Creek are very active and present. They aren't watched or controlled the way they are in Yosemite.

The bears in Mono Village are very present day and night. One early evening a mother and her two cubs walked right through the restaurant and boat house area before dark with plenty of people around. She grazed on the grass in front of the boat house while the cubs played. People were walking by and stopping to take pictures. The mother didn't seem to care about the people around. During the day I saw a yearling wandering through the campground area. There was a bird near it and the bird started to hop as if to take off and the bear swatted it with its paw and killed and ate it. Never saw a bear go after a bird before.
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