A bear caused a commotion in a Durango, Colorado neighbourhood after it brook into an SUV and went for a joyride. The bear reportedly rolled the vehicle out of a driveway before crashing into a mailbox.
The unexpected trip woke Ron Cornelius and his wife, according to the Durango Herald. The couple found the trashed Subaru in their yard. "Usually, I don't get up at 5 o'clock unless there is a bear driving a car down the street," Cornelius told the local paper.
Cornelius said that the bear somehow managed to release the parking brake after it broke into the car on Friday (4 August).
The vehicle rolled backwards from a neighbour's house into the couple's mailbox and some utility boxes, Cornelius said.
He and his wife did not see the animal leave the vehicle, the Herald reported. The couple decided to call 911 because they were unsure of who was to blame and who could possibly still be in the vehicle.
La Plata County Sheriff's Office deputies discovered bear faeces in the vehicle and determined the bear was to blame for the damage. The bear reportedly pulled the steering wheel right off the shaft, ripped the radio out of the dashboard and broke the back window.
"It would have taken a human being hours to do what the bear did in a couple of minutes," he said.
According to the Durango Herald, city code enforcement officers have responded to more than 200 complaints relating to bears and rubbish this year. Code Enforcement Officer Steve Barkley told the newspaper that officers responded to 56 bear calls total in 2016.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Joe Lewandowski said bears are not finding the berries they normally rely on ripening around this time of year due to a late front on 10 June. He said he expects the bear population to suffer this year.
While recent rains may help with food sources, the agency does not predict bears will stop searching for human food, he said. "We're asking people to be extra vigilant," Lewandowski said.