Sheriff’s deputies outside of Denver, CO, recently responded to a bearly believable call: reports that a black bear had somehow locked itself inside a car.
The bizarre encounter—filmed and posted to YouTube by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on July 12—begins with deputies approaching the vehicle, a gray Subaru parked at a residence in Golden, Colorado. The responders seem baffled by the situation.
“Okay, how did he get in?” one deputy said as he approached the vehicle. “I don’t see a broken window.”
Jenny Fulton, the public information officer for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, says that the bear entered the closed but unlocked vehicle sometime on the night of July 11, reports National Geographic.
The curious bear set off the car’s alarm, but the homeowner didn’t go out to investigate until the following morning. After several hours of the bear tearing apart the car’s interior, the interior door handles were rendered useless—effectively locking the bear in the car.
Within 15 minutes, the deputies managed to unlatch the vehicle’s hatch safely, allowing the black bear to scamper into the surrounding woods.
“It’s just a strange situation,” says Fulton.
While the bear’s Houdini-esque entry of the car is unusual, Colorado wildlife officials regularly deal with reports of human-bear encounters. The state is home to between 17,000 and 20,000 black bears, and Colorado’s rapid human population growth has brought with it increased development near bear habitat—drawing the two species into increasingly close quarters.
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