"We're in their land, this is their house," official warns after bear trashes car

Bear looking into car window
(Image credit: Getty)

Officials in North Carolina have warned residents and visitors to take particular care and respect the state's bear population after one of the animals broke into a car and completely destroyed the interior.

"We’re in their land. This is their house and we’re just here. We’ve taken over," said Blue Ridge Public Safety Captain Angela Longgood.

Bear encounters are on the rise, particularly in North Carolina, as the animals become used to humans and lose their natural wariness around people. This phenomenon, known as habituation, is a serious problem, as is food conditioning where a wild animal starts to see people and their settlements as sources of food.

Speaking to WYFF News 4, Longgood advised that the most important thing you can do is take care to secure your food and garbage, If your car smells interesting, even leaving it for a moment gives bears an opportunity to break in.

If a bear gets too close for comfort, first of all you should try to give it space by backing away, keeping your eyes on the animal so you can see if it reacts. It the animal loses interest and leaves, make sure you head off in a different direction.

For more advice, and tips on how to handle encounters with black bears, brown bears, and grizzlies, see our guide what to do if you meet a bear.

Cat Ellis

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.