A trapped bear is a scared bear and it can do a lot of damage. One broke into a vehicle in New York and couldn't get out. The destruction it left behind was substantial.

A 911 call came in about a bear being trapped inside a vehicle in the town of Hurley in Ulster County. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Officers were called in to help with the rescue. Route 28 was shut down and vehicles were parked to create a funnel behind the trapped bear.

The Officers used a rope to open the back hatch to allow the bear to run out. "The animal appeared unharmed, but the vehicle sustained heavy damage."

Credit - NYSDEC
Credit - NYSDEC

Bear Does Damage

Although there was a video of the release, which you can watch at the top of the page, there weren't any pictures of how much damage the bear left inside. It probably looked a little something like this.

Credit - Joseph Rizzo Jr/Facebook
Credit - Joseph Rizzo Jr/Facebook

Bear Destroys Car

That car belonged to Frank and Lexi Smith of Lee Center, New York who found out the hard way how much damage a bear can do after getting trapped in a vehicle. "All heck broke loose because the bear was locked inside while its babies were outside," said Frank.

Take a look at Smith's destroyed car.

Bear Destroys Vehicle in Search of Food

This is why you don't leave food anywhere bears can smell it. Even in your car.


Bears in New York

There are 6,000 to 8,000 bears in New York State, according to the DEC. Everyone is reminded to limit man-made, food sources to reduce bear conflicts. Take down your bird feeders, keep pet food indoors, and lock up trash containers.

The DEC has tips on how to keep bears away from your property and what to do if you encounter one.

To Avoid Bears Coming Onto Your Property:

  • Clean your grill by turning it on high for several minutes after you are done cooking to burn residual odors.
  • Lock up your trash. Bears love garbage. Keep all trash in sealed cans inside a building like a garage or shed. Anything with an odor can attract a bear.
  • Do not feed your pets outside. Leftover food or even an empty dish can attract a bear.
  • Do not have refrigerators or freezers outside or on porches. Bears can smell what is inside.


  • Use noise to scare bears away: Yell, clap, or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear.
  • Stay calm: Walk slowly and speak in a loud and calm voice.
  • Leave slowly: Cautiously back away from the bear and leave the area.


  • Approach, surround, or corner a bear: Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened. Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.
  • Run from a bear: They may chase.
  • Throw your backpack or food bag at an approaching bear: This will only encourage bears to approach and "bully" people to get food. By teaching a bear to approach humans for food, you are endangering yourself, other campers/residents, and the bears.
  • If a bear approaches you: Raise your arms and speak in a loud, calm voice while backing away.
  • If a bear charges you: Stand your ground.
  • If a bear makes contact with you: Fight back with anything at hand (knife, stick, rocks, or fists).

If You're Camping:

  • Throw out all your trash and recyclables.
  • Lock up your coolers and food. Store food in either the trunk of your car or in the cab of your truck. Keep windows shut and food and coolers out of sight.
  • NEVER keep food, coolers, or scented items in your tent.
  • Treat all toiletries as food items. Toiletry products are heavily scented and are as attractive to bears as actual food.
  • Clean up after all meals immediately. Keep grills, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and washbasins clean when not in use.
  • Do not put grease, garbage, plastic diapers, cans, bottles, or other refuse into the fireplace. These items do not properly burn and will attract bears with their odors.
  • Always remember when exploring the wilderness - you're in their home. Be vigilant and stay safe.

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