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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Searching for a snack, black bear breaks in to Sandpoint man’s car

July 6, 2022 Updated Wed., July 6, 2022 at 3 p.m.

A young black bear is seen 60 feet up a tree on the 900 block of E. 30th Avenue, Friday, July 2, 2021, in Spokane. A peckish black bear climbed into a Sandpoint man's car over the weekend, according to reporting from KHQ.  (Dan Pelle/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
A young black bear is seen 60 feet up a tree on the 900 block of E. 30th Avenue, Friday, July 2, 2021, in Spokane. A peckish black bear climbed into a Sandpoint man's car over the weekend, according to reporting from KHQ. (Dan Pelle/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

A peckish black bear climbed into a Sandpoint man’s car over the weekend, according to reporting from KHQ.

“I saw a bear opening my car door. Then closing my car door. Then opening my car door. Then closing my car door, and then getting in and ripping up the door panel, and then jumping in and having its way with whatever snacks were in the car,”  Christopher Josepheson who lives near Schweitzer told KHQ.

Joesepheson documented the entire escapade on camera and posted it to Facebook. The bear did about $200 worth of damage.

“Definitely not aggressive,” he told KHQ. “They’re more just lounging. They’re hungry bears. They want a free snack.”

Although bear break-ins are rarer, black bear and human interaction isn’t. 

In late June grizzly ears in North Idaho killed two pigs and four goats in a series of livestock attacks near the Canadian border. And late last week the Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced they’d received multiple calls about black bear activity in the north Dalton Gardens and south Hayden area, according to a news release.

“Multiple residents have reported seeing a black bear in the area, and although there have been no reports of aggressive behavior toward humans, the bear has been getting into household trash and backyard chicken coops,” according to the statement. “Black bears are common throughout north Idaho but will move into residential areas when they are attracted to easy food sources. Never approach a bear or any other wild animal.”

Reminders for coexisting with bears

There are some simple steps homeowners and landowners can take to make their properties less attractive to bears and reduce the likelihood of potential problems, according to IDFG.

  • Electric fences are the most effective deterrent for grizzly bears. Secure livestock overnight in a barn, or corral them in an electrified fence.
  • Properly dispose of attractants, including trash, animal carcasses, compost, livestock feed and beehives.
  • Securely store food, garbage and other attractants in a bear-resistant place.
  • Keep pet food secured.
  • Avoid filling bird feeders until wintertime.
  • Do not bury or throw garbage in the woods.
  • Clean grills and keep them in a building, if possible.

Tips for a bear encounter

  • Never approach bears. Always stay at least 300 feet away.
  • Do not interrupt bear activities.
  • Never feed bears.
  • Carry bear spray. Know how to use it.
  • Never run.
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