August 16, 2019 9:41 pm

‘I was surprised at the ease’: Video catches bear opening B.C. woman’s car door

WATCH: Just another reminder to always lock your car doors. You never know who will open it up and rummage around. looking for food.

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A B.C. woman thought someone had broken into her car when she saw both doors wide open earlier this month.

Turns out it was something — specifically a black bear, which security camera footage shows opening the doors with the ease of a seasoned pro.

“The first time I saw the footage, my first thought was, ‘This is not this bear’s first time opening a car door,'” Terri McPhail told Global News Friday. “I found that a little disturbing, frankly.”

READ MORE: B.C. wildlife dine and dash: Bear surprises homeowner, scarfs down food, then leaves

The car was parked in the driveway outside a home McPhail was house-sitting in the village of Anmore, near Port Moody, B.C., where bears are known to roam in residential areas.

That’s why she wasn’t surprised at first when the dog McPhail was watching started barking around 6 p.m.

“I said, ‘Oh be quiet, something’s out there, don’t worry,'” she said. “Then I thought he was barking an awful lot, so I went out to have a look.”

WATCH: (June 23, 2016) Bear breaks into car for protein bars


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It didn’t take long for McPhail to find a major clue: a large paw print on the driver’s seat that could only have come from a bear. Slobber was also found on both door handles.

When the home’s owners returned four days later, McPhail was able to review the security footage, which shows the bear opening the doors and going fully inside the car for a peek.

READ MORE: ‘Very smart’ bear cubs try to steal Nanaimo woman’s Christmas cookies

“I was surprised at the ease with which he got into the car,” she said. “There was no trying to figure it out, no trying to establish how to do this, no trial and error. He just grabbed the lever with his mouth and backed up to open the door.

“I’ve seen people have more trouble getting into cars.”

Nothing appeared to be taken or damaged during the bear’s visit, which lasted less than two minutes before the animal wandered off.

READ MORE: Black bear climbs into Coquitlam family’s van while child still inside

McPhail said she’s seen advice to not lock car doors in bear country in case it makes the bear frustrated and angry when it can’t get inside. But she’s not taking it after this close encounter.

“Lock your car and lock your house, because in this case the door handle was even easier to open than the car,” she said.

“So keep your doors locked. That’s what I’ve learned.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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