WATCH: Black bear sneaks inside car

A bear was found inside a car in Cornwall, Connecticut, over the weekend.
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 2:02 PM EDT
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CORNWALL, Conn. (WFSB/Gray News) - A Connecticut man encountered a black bear after it sneaked into his mother-in-law’s car over the weekend.

The man tells WFSB he was inside his house when he noticed his mother-in-law’s car headlights were on.

When he went outside to check it out, he was shocked by what he saw.

“I was like, ‘Something’s not right here,’” said Cody Gillotti.

Gillotti said his truck door was wide open. The bear had apparently rummaged through it, too.

“And my daughter’s car seat was on the ground next to it. And I thought, ‘That’s real weird,’” he said.

He went to investigate.

He saw a black bear hanging out in the front seat of his mother-in-law’s Subaru.

“I went down and saw fog all over the window, and sure enough, there was a bear in there,” Gillotti said. “Wow, I see bears all the time but never in the car.”

He called the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

“[A responding officer] loaded up his 12 gauge with bean bag shells. I tied a rope to the car handle and ran the rope up the hill and started yanking on the rope,” Gillotti said.

Seeing the door move seemed to scare the bear.

“It freaked the bear out big-time, and the bear just kind of exploded with energy. And the door went swinging open,” said Gillotti.

The bear ran away, but he left behind quite a bit of damage.

“I’m sure the Subaru’s going to be toast. You can’t turn power off the vehicle without disconnecting the battery. You take the key out, lights still turn on. The interior’s completely destroyed,” Gillotti said.

The back seat of Gillotti’s truck was also damaged, but not as badly.

Now he’s thinking about giving his truck a new nickname.

“The ‘Bear Trap’ or something,” he said.

The state’s environmental management department says spring is a busy time for black bears as they come out of their winter rest.

The department is sharing these tips to stay safe:

  • Never feed bears.
  • Take down bird feeders by late March and wait until late fall to put them back up.
  • Store garbage in secure containers.
  • Keep grills clean and store them inside a garage or shed.

They also say if you see a bear, you should report the sighting.

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