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David Baxter PhD

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Video shows B.C. bear easily opening car door for a sniff inside
by Laura Sciarpelletti, CBC News
August 16, 2019

Terry McPhail thought someone had broken into her vehicle — until she found slobber and a paw print inside

When a Vancouver woman discovered the doors of her car had been opened, she thought someone had broken in — until she saw a giant paw print on the seat.

After seeing security camera footage, Terry McPhail later found out that print belonged to a black bear.

"There was slobber on both handles and a little bit inside," McPhail said.

She had been house-sitting in the village of Anmore, near Port Moody, B.C., and had parked her car in the driveway of the remote private property.

She said when the dog she was watching for the owners of the house started barking, she wasn't too surprised as bears are common in the Anmore area.

She found evidence of the intruder when she returned to her car later that day.


The bear left a calling card of some slobber on Terry McPhail's car door handle. (Terry McPhail/Submitted)

Four days later, when the property's owners returned, McPhail was able to go through the security footage and confirmed the culprit was a bear:

The bear appeared to have no problem standing up and opening the car doors, she said.

"'That is not the first time this bear has opened a car door,' is what went though my mind. And the second thing that went through my mind was: 'That'll teach me to lock my doors now,'" she said.


A dusty paw print is clearly visible on Terry McPhail's car seat. (Terry McPhail/Submitted)

After viewing the footage, McPhail realized she had missed the bear by minutes after the dog barked enough to send her looking outside.

"It took [the bear] one minute and 38 seconds to get in the one side and get fully inside and have a look around. And then less than a minute to open the other door, look in and then wander off," she said.

McPhail says there was no food in the car.

Apart from the slobber, the bear left the car in its original condition, she said.
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