This is the moment a bear was discovered sitting in the passenger seat of a woman’s car in Connecticut after breaking in.
Cornwall resident Cody Gillotti, who said the wild animal had ‘totaled’ his mother-in-law’s Subaru, said he’d been relaxing at home when he saw the car’s internal lights go on when the door was opened.
He went outside to find a large bear sitting in the passenger seat, looking almost as surprised to see him, as he was to find it.
‘It was almost like a deer in headlights, it was just stunned,’ Gillotti later told NBC Connecticut. ‘It looked like a teenage kid that just passed out in his car after a long night of partying and his mom caught him.’
Thankfully, no one was hurt in the encounter.
Gillotti called the authorities and agents from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection agency arrived to remove the bear.
The black bear froze (pictured) when it was caught by local resident Cody Gillotti. The wild animal caused extensive damage to Gillotti’s mother-in-law
A huge black bear was recently caught inside a woman’s car in Cornwall, Connecticut, while looking for food in the middle of the night
Cody Gillotti told NBC he noticed a ‘kind of shiny’ light from his mother-in-law’s car, prompting him to go outside and to make the discovery. His mother-in-law was already sleeping at the time
Officials quickly realized the bear had trapped itself inside the vehicle after all doors were locked. They opened the door with a rope before using a bean bag round to get the bear gradually out of the vehicle.
Gillotti noticed the car starting to ‘rock back and forth,’ as the bear became alarmed by its surrounding. That’s when the wild animal ‘was about to come busting out,’ he said.
The bear finally broke loose from the car’s interior and ran off into the woods nearby.
Stunned by the chain of events, Gillotti said the bear was one of ‘the biggest [he’s] ever seen,’ although he claims to have seen some in the area before, Fox61 reported.
Before the bear broke into his mother-in-law’s car, it appeared that it first got into Gillotti’s pickup truck, causing some damage.
The wild animal tore up the seats before it moved on to his mother-in-law’s car.
‘I think he opened it up and there was no food in my truck. There was an empty McDonald’s bag and a couple other things in her car so I think he kind of just moved things around my seat looking for stuff, couldn’t find anything and then left and went into [my mother-in-law’s] car,’ Gillotti said.
The black bear broke into Gillotti’s pickup truck, ripping its seat by doing so, before moving into his mother-in-law’s vehicle. Pictured: the damage done in Gillotti’s car by the wild animal
Gillotti said the bear didn’t cause as much damage to his truck (pictured) compared to his mother-in-law’s Subaru
The vehicle’s roof, windows and a side door look to have been ripped off by the bear, pictures show.
‘I’m sure the Subaru’s going to be toast. You can’t turn power off the vehicle without disconnecting the battery. You take the key out lights still turn on,’ Gillotti told WFSB-TV. ‘The interior’s completely destroyed.’
On a GoFundMe page that he set up to raise funds for the car’s repair, he wrote: ‘He absolutely destroyed the car, ripped apart two doors, shredded the head line and back seats.’
Gillotti added that his mother-in-law’s car ‘stinks to high heaven’.
No injuries were reported from the discovery. Gillotti told NBC that he wouldn’t be surprised to bump into the same bear sometime soon.
‘I’m sure it’ll be back,’ he said.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection warned residents on its website to expect more bear sightings as the wild animals come out of hibernation. It advises people to keep their home and car doors locked and to firmly shut their windows to avoid any similar instances.
Black bears are not a rare species to come across in Connecticut. There are roughly 1000 to 1200 of them in the state, according to the local NBC outlet – a 25 percent increase since 2018.
The Department of Energy and Environment Protection has filed more than 3500 human/bear encounters in 2020. That’s three times more the amount than in 2018, according to its website.
Gillotti created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his mother-in-law’s car reparations after the bear destroyed it when authorities were trying to lure it away from the vehicle
The black bear absolutely destroyed the car of Gillotti’s mother-in-law, ripping apart two doors, shredded the head liner and back seats (pictureed)
The car’s roof was also destroyed while foam usually stuffed inside passenger seats can be seen out of place