A woman in British Columbia had a shock this week after a black bear tore its way into her car and guzzled 69 cans of soda. She shared a video of the animal approaching her vehicle at night, and photos of the sticky aftermath (which you can see below) as a warning to others.
Bears are starting to wake from hibernation throughout the US and Canada, and food is the first thing on their minds. Human food and drink presents an easy, high-calorie meal, and a car poses little challenge once a bear has picked up the scent.
Sharon Rosel was woken in the early hours of Thursday morning by a loud noise, and looked outside to find the bear surrounded by broken glass from her vehicle's window, chewing its way into cans of soft drink that Rosel had purchased for her food truck business.
"He was drinking massive amounts of soda," Rosel told CBS News. She said the animal seemed particularly fond of orange soda, but also made its way through her supply of cola and root beer before drawing the line at diet drinks. Of the 72 cans originally in the car, only three were left unmauled.
Rosel explained that she has lived in bear country for years, and knew not to leave food in her vehicle, but never suspected that the animals would also go after soda in sealed cans.
In addition to spilling soda everywhere, the sugar-hungry bear also tore up the leather interior and broke the window roller by standing on it. Rosel isn't sure how much of the damage will be covered by her insurance.
Don't feed the bears
Bears are naturally wary of people, but if they access human food regularly, they may become bolder, increasing the chances of a dangerous close encounter. A bear that attacks a person is likely to be euthanized for public safety, even if the individual is unharmed or the bear was surprised.
Local authorities warn residents living alongside bears to secure garbage in bear-proof containers or with electric fencing, not to compost anything outside, to clean barbecues thoroughly after use, to feed pets indoors, and to be aware of smells from cooking and baking that may attract the animals.
Meanwhile Parks Canada advises campers to keep cooking, eating, and food storage areas at least 50m downwind of their sleeping area, and store all food and garbage in a bearproof container or a bear bag at least 4m above the ground.
You should also keep your sleeping bag, clothes, and tent free from food or drink spills, and remember that cooking smelly foods like fish and bacon is more likely to attract attention.
- What to do if you meet a bear: a guide to wildlife safety
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.