Andrew Goff / @ 11:29 a.m. / Our Culture, wildlife

(PHOTOS/VIDEO/AUDIO) Bear Spends Night in Minivan in Bayside; RIP Minivan


Photos/video: AG, except where noted

Bayside resident Dillon Savage didn’t sleep too well last night. Even though his neighbors were out of town the periodic blare of a car horn on his secluded, wooded street kept him up. 

When he arose this morning, made curious by the ruckus, Dillon went to investigate and noticed something a bit off about his neighbor’s van. He recounted his discovery, on Facebook.

“As I approach the van something does not look right. I can see that the ceiling liner is torn down,” Savage said. 

Then some movement. Some sort of animal was inside the van. Initially Savage thought he was dealing with a deer, so he tried to open multiple doors to let the thing out but — thankfully, as he would later find out — they wouldn’t open. Peering inside through the van’s fogged up windows he quickly realized, yeah, he was dealing with something larger.

Van bear | Dillon Savage

“And that’s when I saw the face of the bear.” he said. “And I went, ‘oh.’”

Bear rescue is above Dillon’s pay grade, so he called up the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Two wardens soon made the scene and, with some cautious effort, were able to pry the door open at which point the bear bolted for the woods across from the driveway. 

“The bear just took off,” Savage said. “I’ve never seen something move so fast!”

Above and below: Why you should not let bears into your minivan

Dillon isn’t sure how the bear gained access to the inside of the van. It seems unlikely it opened the door by human-like means — there were no claw marks around any of the door handles. Maybe one of the doors was left open by some human and the bear closed it when it crawled inside? Who knows? Regardless of how it got in, one could surmise that the animal did not enjoy its temporary enclosure by the complete destruction of the van’s interior which you can bear witness to in the video below. 

What did Savage learn, if anything, from this morning’s brief excitement?

“Lock your car, I guess,” he said.

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Below: Hear “bear whisperer” Dillon Savage recount his furry close encounter to KHUM’s Bayley Brown:

(AUDIO) Dillon and the Bear


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