Photos show bear damage to cars
Conservation officers are warning residents and visitors to British Columbia to keep animal attractants out of their cars, saying they are “no match” for hungry bears.
The BC Conservation Officer Service released a series of photos on Tuesday, warning drivers of the risks of leaving food in their cars.
If the bears are “determined,” BCCOS said, they will find a way in.
“We have received multiple reports of bears breaking into cars,” BCCOS said. “Your car may be torn.”
Images shared by the agency show parts of car doors ripped off and door frames twisted.
BCCOS confirmed with CTV News Vancouver that it has received a dozen calls in the past six weeks about a bear breaking into cars in the Tofino and Ucluelet areas.
“One incident involved a bear breaking into a car for empty food wrappers,” BCCOS said in an emailed statement.
Conservation officers believe only one bear is involved and although a trap has been set and moved, the bear has not yet entered it.
“Bears are incredibly smart and know how to use doorknobs,” BCCOS said. “They are also incredibly strong and can destroy a car if trapped inside.”
Earlier this year, a black bear mauled a car in Trail, smashing the vehicle’s windows, bending the door frame and leaving scratches.
And last spring, two bears broke into a car in Coquitlam, ripping up the seats to get rid of the crumbs underneath.
Conservation officers are urging residents to secure attractants like garbage, pet food and birdseed, in homes and in vehicles.