Aug. 11 (UPI) -- A bear broke into an SUV and took the vehicle for an unintentional joyride through a Colorado neighborhood by knocking the vehicle out of park.
Ron Cornelius of Durango said he and his wife were roused early Aug. 4 by the sound of the Subaru SUV rolling into their yard and striking their mailbox.
"Usually, I don't get up at 5 o'clock unless there is a bear driving a car down the street," Cornelius told the Durango Herald.
Cornelius said he called 911 before he realized the SUV's sole occupant was a bear.
La Plata County sheriff's deputies responded to the scene and quickly determined the bear had broken into the SUV in a neighbor's driveway up the road and somehow knocked it out of park, causing it to roll down the street.
The bear apparently got out of the vehicle and fled before deputies arrived, but they there was ample evidence of the creature's joyride -- it destroyed the interior of the car and defecated inside before fleeing.
"It would have taken a human being hours to do what this bear did in a couple minutes," Cornelius said.
The damage to the SUV included the steering wheel being ripped free of the shaft, the radio being removed from its nook in the dashboard, and a shattered window.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Joe Lewandowski said residents are being asked to be "extra vigilant" this year, as late frost in June put a large dent in the berries the bears rely on for food.
A black bear made a daytime visit to a Starbucks in Durango earlier in the summer. The bruin climbed a utility pole outside the cafe and ended up knocking out electricity to the Starbucks when it received an electric shock from a power line.