July 13, 2016
Bear Gets Stuck In A Colorado Teenager's Car, Bear And Teen Survive, Car Not So Much

A Colorado teenager is in the market for another car after a bear in search of food got trapped in hers, a grisly incident that left her ride torn to shreds but left both the teenager and the bear no worse for wear.

As KMGH (Denver) reports, 17-year-old Annie Bruecker only had her 2004 Subaru Legacy for a couple of months -- she bought it so she could drive back and forth to her summer job.

Colorado teenager bear car
Annie Bruecker. [Image via Facebook]

On Monday morning, her mom alerted her that there was a problem.

"My mom screamed from downstairs and I thought that I was in trouble. She said, 'Annie, there's a bear in your car.'"

As you probably surmised when you read the word "downstairs" in the quote above, Annie wasn't out camping with her family, on a hiking trail, or anywhere else deep in the woods where you can expect to run into a bear. She was at her family's house in the Denver suburbs.

Teenager Colorado bear car
Jefferson County, Colorado, where teenager Annie Bruecker had her encounter with a bear. [Image via Rick Kimpel | Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and Resized | by CC BY-SA 2.0]

However, as humans encroach on bear habitats, encounters with the dangerous mammals are increasingly likely, as the teenager found out to her horror.

So what do you do when there's a bear trapped in your ride? Call the cops, of course. Fortunately, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department deputies are familiar with bear encounters. Still, they're not used to seeing bears trapped in cars.

In the cops' body camera video, which you can see below, deputies tried valiantly to figure out what to do with the "medium-sized" bear before figuring out that their best option was to open the hatchback and step away as quickly as possible. Lacking a remote-control key fob that would pop open the hatchback, they had to do it by hand. One cop kept his shotgun drawn on the bear "just in case."

In addition to the cops' body camera footage of the bear rescue, you can also watch a video of the incident from another angle, shot by Annie herself. You can see that video in the tweet embedded below.

As you can tell from the videos posted above, the bear was less interested in attacking the cops and more interested in scampering away into the woods as quickly as possible. Unfortunately for Annie's Subaru, it was completely and thoroughly destroyed and had to be towed away.

"The whole ceiling was ripped. The plastic sunroof cover was ripped out. My steering wheel was chewed. My neighbor actually described it as someone put a grenade in there and it just went off... I'm not going to work today."

So how did the bear manage to break into Annie's ride? Your guess is as good as anyone else's. As the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department noted in a statement via the Washington Post, they have no idea how the bear got in.

"No windows were broken. The door handles weren't the kind you lift up. And yet somehow this medium-sized bear managed to open a door, crawl inside and close the door behind him. Deputies could tell by all the moisture on the windows that he'd clearly been inside for a while."

Annie, who admits that she left her doors unlocked, says she has no idea what was in her car that attracted the bear. There wasn't any food inside - when you live in Colorado bear country, you learn to be diligent about not leaving food out where bears can get to it.

As of this writing, it is not clear if the Colorado teenager whose car was ripped up by a bear will be getting a new one.

[Image via Wild Art/Shutterstock]