For the second time in week, a hungry bear has ripped apart a Lexus left parked overnight in search of a pic-a-nic basket.
This time, the bear broke into a car parked in front of a house on North Vancouver’s Panorama Drive Tuesday night by breaking the windows and attempting to pry open the doors, after sniffing out a box of protein bars that had been left in the vehicle.
The bear ripped apart the SUV’s interior in the search for a snack and left paw prints, claw marks and tufts of fur behind as its calling card.
North Vancouver RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Richard De Jong said damage to the vehicle is estimated at about $5,000.
The bear’s decision to treat the vehicle as its pantry comes only days after another similar incident in West Vancouver, where a bear peeled open a Lexus in the British Properties after smelling sandwiches left inside that were destined for a potluck.
Damage from that late-night snack session was estimated at $10,000.
De Jong said it is “very unusual” to have two similar incidents so close together.
But it’s not the first time bears have treated vehicles as their personal drive-through fast food outlets.
Bears have been known to rip open car doors even for the faintest of smells. Another vehicle in the British Properties was broken into last summer for some leftover sushi and in previous years, cookies and spilled coffee have attracted Yogi to potential meals on wheels.
Even leaving food wrappers in a vehicle can be enough to attract a bear, said De Jong.
“Bears do have an incredible sense of smell and incredible strength,” he said.
So far, 2016 has seen relatively few bear conflicts on the North Shore, according to the North Shore Black Bear Network.