A Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, resident was in for a shock when she walked out her door one Friday morning. Her truck door stood open with the hazard lights flashing.
Thursday evening she’d heard odd thumping noises coming from outside, then suddenly, the blare of her truck horn.
“I went to look out at the truck through the door, didn’t see anything. Turned the porch light on, and walked out on the porch. I still didn’t see anything. Then I thought maybe I should go check out the inside of the truck. Something stopped me and I went back inside the house. I headed off to bed still hearing the occasional odd thump,” says Susan Garno.
What she found the next morning stunned her. The inside door panels of the truck were shredded, an air vent knocked out, the back bench seat had been clawed, ceiling clawed, and poop and pee on the floor. Yet no marks marred the outside of the truck. She called a neighbor to come look at the truck.
“I called the neighbor back by accident when I hit redial, thinking I’d called my insurance agent last. The neighbor told me he didn’t even have to look at the truck to know what had happened to it. He’d just talked to another neighbor whose truck was also mauled,” Susan says.
She continues, “Then he tells me it was a bear!”
The other neighbor’s truck had also been broken into, but their doors had been locked. After mangling the outside door handles, the bear climbed into the bed of the pickup and busted out the back window.
“I’m so grateful I didn’t go open that truck door Thursday night. The bear was still in there at that point. The door had apparently shut on him while he was inside. He destroyed the door panels trying to get himself back out,” Susan adds. “Someone was definitely looking out for me that night!”
The bear also took out a window in the Garno’s travel trailer. Luckily he wasn’t able to get into the trailer.
The neighbors speculate that the bear is probably a young one, around two years old, newly weaned from its mother. They figure the bear has probably learned that vehicles and trailers carry food. From the lack of marring on the outside of the truck, the bear obviously knows how to operate vehicle door handles.
“I’d originally thought maybe a raccoon or some other type of rodent had caused the damage. I’m thankful it wasn’t!” laughs Susan. “If the destruction to the truck had been caused by a raccoon or another type of rodent, the insurance wouldn’t have covered the repairs. They don’t cover rodent damage. But because it was a bear that caused the damage, the insurance covered it!”
There’s been no sign of the bear since.