Bear cubs break into Harriman woman’s car, steal fries and leave behind damage

Local News

Another bear break-in caught on camera and this time, it comes with a hefty insurance claim.

The Bunch family sent cell phone video to us showing a cub jumping in the backseat of a car through a window while the car was parked in Gatlinburg.

Last week, we showed another close encounter in the Smokies, photographer Jackie Gilbert sharing photos of people in Cades Cove walking dangerously close to bears.

Related: Photographer captures people dangerously close to Cades Cove bears

It’s easy to spot all the damage inside and outside Carrie Bunch’s car, “There were three bears in there at one point.”

She showed us the broken glass, missing window, scratches, torn leather and broken window shields.

“They’re probably starving and I had a lot of fries in there because I’d just gotten McDonald’s and they got my sweet tea and they just chugged it,” she said.

Bunch adding while the video is entertaining, it’s worrisome, “I feel like they’re smart and they can do whatever they wanna do and they didn’t care that the alarms were going off and that everybody was yelling and screaming. They didn’t care at all. So it’s kind of dangerous for people to be out there.”

Appalachian Bear Rescue saying while many find these kind of videos enjoyable, the videos are not cute. In fact, they say this kind of bear behavior puts all of us at danger, as well as the bears.

ABR says bears are at risk of euthanization when they become too comfortable around humans.

“I guess people should really be warned and aware,” said Bunch.

ABR said now is the time for visitors and locals to be responsible by not leaving food, wrappers or groceries in their cars.

While Bunch cleans and repairs her car, she says she’s learned a valuable and simple lesson, “I’m not going to leave food in my car.”

It’s important to mention that the City of Gatlinburg has several laws that pertain to feeding bears. Animal-resistant garbage containers are required for both homeowners and restaurants.

It’s also illegal for someone to intentionally feed or leave food out that could attract bears, including garbage. If you’re caught doing that, it’s a Class C misdemeanor that comes with a fine, court costs, and possible community service.

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