A black bear recently helped itself to someone’s lunch by climbing inside their unlocked truck in Colorado.
State parks and wildlife officials shared a video that shows the bear sniffing around the truck, pulling at the door handle and getting startled as the door opens.
“In case you were looking for a sign to lock your car doors — this is it,” officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in the May 12 post.
In case you were looking for a sign to lock your car doors - this is it pic.twitter.com/oN9MhOowtG
— Colorado Parks and Wildlife (@COParksWildlife) May 12, 2023
The bear wastes no time climbing inside and knocks a cooler full of drinks to the ground. The bear then uses the hard cooler as a stool to boost its body into the truck, where it snatches a lunchbox and takes off with it in its mouth.
Now that bears have fully emerged from hibernation, they’re on the hunt for food, officials said in a news release.
The agency has received 173 reports of bear activity in 25 counties this year alone, officials said.
“Bears should NOT be eating from trash receptacles, bird feeders or other human-provided food sources,” officials said in the post. “Bears are gonna bear — people are the solution — change your habits.”
Officials had to euthanize a bear after it entered a home in Colorado Springs three times in one week, once by opening a closed door, McClatchy News previously reported.
Earlier this week, a bear cub died while scavenging through trash bins for food when one tipped over, startling the bear so much it scurried up a utility pole and was electrocuted, McClatchy News reported.
“Every time a bear gets a treat, a bird feeder, a hummingbird feeder, or trash, it teaches the bear that people mean food,” Matt Yamashita said in the news release. Yamashita is an area Colorado Parks and Wildlife manager covering Aspen, Glenwood Springs, and Eagle and Pitkin counties. “People who think that it’s one time, no big deal, are totally wrong. It is a big deal when you compound that ‘one time’ with how many ‘one timers’ they get from your neighbors, too. It adds up.”
It has added up exponentially in those areas in particular, where bears have wandered into towns across both valleys in search of food, resulting in “a subsequently high number of human-black bear conflicts,” officials said.
“Even with a lack of natural food sources, bears continue to have large litter sizes of three to four cubs, indicating they are receiving supplemental food from humans,” Yamashita said in the release.
That’s why people need to be especially “bear aware” when bears are active in spring, summer and into fall, officials said.
“Being bear aware not only protects your home and property, but it can save a bear’s life,” officials said in the release. Bears should only be eating “gentle” natural food sources available early in the spring season to help their digestive systems bounce back from hibernation anyway.
“Starting with proper bear aware practices in the spring may help prevent bears from discovering your home or neighborhood as a food source that it will return to throughout the year,” officials said.
Officials shared some tips for bear-proofing your home, including:
Keep garbage secured and only put it out the morning it gets picked up.
Clean garbage cans regularly (with ammonia if you can) to cut down on odors that attract bears.
Keep garage doors closed, and don’t leave pet food or stock feed outside.
Use bear-resistant trash cans or dumpsters.
Avoid bird feeders between April 15 to Nov. 15. You can naturally attract birds with flowers and water baths instead.
Don’t let bears get comfortable around your home. You should haze them if you spot one, by yelling, making noise and throwing things at it to scare it off.
Secure compost piles, as bears are attracted to the smell of rotting food.
Clean grills after every use, and clean up well after cookouts.
Don’t allow fruit to rot on the ground around fruit trees.
Lock doors when you’re away from home and overnight.
Keep bottom-floor windows closed when you’re not at home.
To bear-proof your car:
Don’t keep food in your car, and roll up windows and lock car doors.
Lock car doors when car-camping and secure food and coolers inside.
Clean up your campsite, whether you’re camping at a campground or in the backcountry.
If you’re camping in the backcountry, hang food 100 feet away (or more) from the campsite. Don’t bring food into your tent.
Cook far from your campsite and wash dishes thoroughly.