Hungry bears enter Aspen cars, trash two of them
June 12, 2017
While police say the number of bears coming into town so far this year is average, the animals have broken in to three cars in Aspen's East End in the past week and trashed two of them.
The latest incident occurred Sunday night, when a bear was able to get inside a Honda Element parked on King Street and rip apart door panels before getting out, said Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn.
The worst damage occurred to a Lexus parked near the Aspen Club on Riverside Drive a week ago, he said. A bear ripped apart the inside of the car and defecated in it three times, Linn said.
"There wasn't even any significant food inside," Linn wrote in a Facebook post about the Lexus incident. "But bears have such a fine sense of smell, they can smell the empty junk food bag or stray french fry.
"You know, the one that fell down between the console and your driver's seat."
A bear also was able to get into another car parked on Skimming Street in the past week, though that vehicle was not damaged, he said.
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Bears can often pull door handles to open the doors, then become trapped inside when doors close behind them, Linn said, leading to extensive damage when they try to get out.
Linn urged residents to lock their vehicles, as well as the doors to their homes, to prevent bears from entering. However, this year they have not seen a lot of bears coming into town, yet, he said.
"It's been a very average year," Linn said. "So far it has not turned in to one of those historically big bear years when they're all over the place."