SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is warning the public to never leave food or “anything that smells like food” in their vehicles after a black bear got stuck inside a car and died on Wednesday.
In a Facebook post shared the day after the incident, the TWRA said it believed the bear had used its “teeth or paws” to open the unlocked door of a car parked by a rental property in Sevierville. The bear then became trapped inside after the door closed behind it.
It was 95 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday, but TWRA officials believe temperatures inside the car could have exceeded 140 degrees.
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The car’s owner had left the property, and the vehicle, around 10 a.m. that day. The bear was discovered later that evening, at around 6:45 p.m.
The TWRA said they found an empty soda can and a food package on the floorboard.
“Bears have noses 7 times better than a bloodhound and can smell even the faintest odor of food inside a vehicle,” the TWRA wrote. “Lock your doors, roll up your windows, and never leave food or anything that smells like food inside! Empty food containers, candy wrappers, fast food bags, and even air fresheners can attract bears.
“Please be #BearWise and help us keep bears wild and alive.”