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A new consideration in wildlife management. No picture unfortunately. It would have been a good one.

Grand Theft Bear: Colorado critter gets into car, honks horn, then sends it rolling downhill

Published: Friday, July 23, 2010 | 5:01 PM ET

Canadian Press Dan Elliott, The Associated Press

DENVER – A bear got into an empty car, honked the horn and then sent it rolling 125 feet (38 metres) into a thicket, with the bear still inside, a Colorado family said.

Seventeen-year-old Ben Story said he and his family were asleep in their home south of Denver when the bear managed to open the unlocked door of his 2008 Toyota Corolla early Friday and climbed inside.

A peanut butter sandwich left on the back seat is probably what attracted the bear, Story said.

It’s not unusual for bears to open unlocked doors to cars and houses in search of food, said Tyler Baskfield, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

“It happens all the time,” he said. “They’re very smart.”

Once inside, the bear must have knocked the shifter on the automatic transmission into neutral, sending the car rolling backward down the inclined driveway and into the thicket, Story said. The door apparently slammed shut when the car jolted to a stop, he said, trapping the bear inside.

Neighbours had called emergency police dispatchers, and deputies freed the bear by opening the door with a rope from a distance. The bear then ran into the woods.

Story said he’ll need a new car because the bear trashed the interior trying to get out.

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