A Port Moody man has been left scratching his head after a black bear entered his car, ransacked the interior and took off into the night.
The first sign something was off came from Bruno Lange’s neighbours. They were driving by his house just north of Eagle Ridge Hospital after a hike Saturday, March 14, and saw his 6-year-old Hyundai Elantra shaking.
“They went for a hike and expected to see a bear. Then they got home and out jumped a bear from the car,” Lange told The Tri-City News, still incredulous.
After the neighbours rang the door bell and told Lange what they saw, he went out to check on his vehicle. The interior panelling had been completely trashed, ripped off from its moorings and batted around. The turn signal lever was torn off and the bear had clearly clawed or gnawed at the motor that powers the windows.
“It came in through the driver side door and left through the passenger side,” said Lange. “Smart bear.”
Lange called the Port Moody police that night to file a report and a conservation officer came by the next day.
“They’re a little bit concerned because they’re not sure if the bear is habituated, getting used to people,” said Lange. “And [the bears] are just coming out of hibernation so they’re probably pretty hungry.”
At the time of publication, the BC Conservation Officer Service had not yet returned calls from The Tri-City News.
Living in Port Moody, Lange says he’s used to seeing bears and doing everything possible to maintain distance, including locking up garbage and not leaving anything out that will attract them — even inside his car. Even so, this isn't the first time a bear has found itself trapped inside a car in Port Moody. Last September, as bears were still looking to fatten up before going into hibernation, Port Moody police released a video another bruin stuck inside a vehicle, and warned residents not to leave attractants inside their vehicles.
“The funny thing is we did order Chicko Chicken that night,” mused Lange, noting his wife picked up the Korean fried chicken but that they came inside to eat. “They talk about their sense of smell. It’s good chicken. About an hour wait.”
“That’s my only explanation.”
Lange chalks up the encounter between bear and sedan as “one of those freak things.”
“Okay, I’ll lock my doors, I guess. Who knows? maybe it would have gone through the window,” he said.
“It’s just another reminder that, yeah, they’re out there.”
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