When a Colorado teen decided to skip work on Tuesday, she had a pretty good excuse—there was a bear trapped in her Subaru.
Seventeen-year-old Annie Brueker forgot to lock her vehicle the night before, and at some point while she was sleeping, the bear “just opened the door and then let himself in,” she said in an interview with Fox 31 Denver.
When her mother discovered the bear the next morning, she screamed. That’s when Brueker looked outside and saw the animal ransacking her vehicle from inside.
“He’s tossing stuff in the back basically and then you can see the ceiling of my car just ripped, and I was like, I’m not going to work today,” she said. She’s not sure how it managed to crawl inside and close the door, but what’s even more surprising is that it didn’t break any windows in the process.
After a few puzzled minutes, she and her mother called authorities for help. Two deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office showed up shortly after.
In a video recorded by the deputies, you can see the bear clawing at the doors and windows.
“How’d you get in there bear?” one of the officers remarks.
“The door handles weren’t the kind you lift up. And yet, somehow, this medium-sized bear managed to open [the] door, crawl inside, and close the door behind him,” the Sheriff’s Office told reporters.
The officers could tell from the moisture on the windows that the bear had been in there for a while. They decided they would have the best chance at getting it out of the vehicle safely if one of them opened the hatch at the back, while the other stood guard with a shotgun. Given the size of the bear, they thought a protective mother bear might be nearby.
Luckily, the gun wasn’t necessary. As soon as one of the officers opened the hatch, the bear jumped out and darted back into the woods.
Although this was hardly the first time these deputies have been called for a bear getting into a car, the animals are usually looking for food and are long gone by the time the deputies arrive. In fact, less than a month ago, a Vancouver man awoke to find his car broken into after he left a cooler of food tucked behind the front seat. There was no bear in sight, but the vehicle was completely trashed and covered in black fur.
Bruecker maintains that there was no food left in her car. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop the bear from ripping apart the vehicle’s interior in an effort to escape. One of Bruecker’s neighbours described the damage as if “someone put a grenade in there and it just went off.”