By Makenzie O’Keefe
Jim Bay told CBS4 that his family woke up to sounds of a car alarm and a horn honking. He got up to look outside, thinking maybe he had accidentally left a car door open.
“When I got outside I opened the truck door and I had a visitor,” Bay said. “It was a very large black bear.”
It appeared that the bear had become stuck inside of his truck.
“The glass wasn’t broken, and the truck looked like normal.” Bay said. “So apparently he opened the door using the handle, and then the door closed behind him once he got into the truck.”
Bay said he could tell the bear was agitated. His truck was rocking back and forth, as the bear destroyed the inside of his Ford truck.
“It’s just a mess,” he said. “I didn’t want to go down there and open the door and let him out myself because I thought I would be bait.”
He decided to call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for help. When Deputy Gonzalez and Deputy Dawson arrived, they tried tying ropes to the truck door handles, so they could open the vehicle from a distance.
Bay said when that didn’t work, one deputy opened the door and ran. That’s when the bear hopped out and darted into the woods.
“This was the biggest bear I’ve seen yet,” Bay said. “I’m not a good one for guessing but I would say he was at least 400 pounds.”
Bay told CBS4’s Makenzie O’Keefe, it appears gum was what attracted the bear to his car.
“I don’t keep food in my truck for obvious reasons,” he laughed. “But it was a half stick of gun that attracted him. That’s it.”
Officials remind people that bear activity is high right now, especially in the foothills. It’s important to make sure no food is inside your vehicle, and that birdfeeders or pet food is not left outside.
Bay said while the damage inside his truck is terrible, he’s glad the bear is safe.
“I’m just glad he was able to get out,” Bay explained. “Maybe he’s a little afraid and maybe he won’t be back because of this but he isn’t hurt which is good.”
Makenzie O’Keefe joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2017. Read her bio, connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter at @makenziepokeefe or email her your story ideas.