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Bears prove their mettle by opening car doors in Colorado city

UPI News Service, 06/06/2013 

A black bear prompted wildlife and police to advise Steamboat Springs, Colo., residents to lock their car doors to block any unwanted furry passengers.

Police said a bear, most likely a yearling, was spotted along the streets in one neighborhood in May and is suspected of opening car doors, Steamboat Springs Today reported Wednesday.

Officers said the bear defecated in the vehicle and chewed through a container of motor oil.

Police received another report of a bear that locked itself inside of a vehicle, alerting the owner (and others) of its predicament by laying on the horn, the newspaper said. When officials opened the doors and released the bear, they found extensive damage caused by the bear's chewing on the interior and clawing the vehicle's ceiling.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Danielle Domson said Wednesday the bear also could be responsible for killing some ducks and rifling through a garbage can.

"Bears are pretty smart, but I haven't heard of them opening car doors," Domson said. "That's new behavior we haven't seen before, so we thought we would remind people to keep their car doors locked."

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