In South Lake Tahoe, a bear created havoc inside a woman’s car after accidentally getting trapped inside. Video footage captured the animal gnawing at the car’s upholstery, leaving the owner, Alejandra Hernandez, stunned and helpless on the nearby cabin’s porch. Hernandez, a wedding content creator, had traveled to South Lake Tahoe for a bachelorette party when the unexpected encounter occurred. She recounted the incident in an interview with CBS Sacramento.
Despite the bear’s relatively small size, it managed to open one of Hernandez’s car doors from the outside to gain access. However, once inside, it couldn’t figure out how to reopen the door after it swung closed. The video captured Hernandez and her friends watching in shock as the bear attempted to chew its way through the car.
Police eventually arrived at the scene, and an officer opened one of the doors to free the bear. The animal promptly ran away, leaving behind a completely shredded driver’s side door and an atrocious smell. With a sense of humor, Hernandez filmed her friend cleaning out the backseat, jokingly attributing it to “bear poop.”
Watch the video:
@alejandra_n_h Everyone keeps saying they wouldnt have believe it happened but because its me theyre not surprised. #weekendgetaway #storytime #laketahoe #laketahoebear ? original sound – Alejandra
In Lake Tahoe, bears opening car doors is not an uncommon sight. According to the Bear League, a wildlife rescue organization, between 15-25 such incidents occur daily around the lake. However, most of the time, the car doors are left open, allowing the bears to exit on their own.
Black bears are the only bear species found in California, with an estimated population of 25,000 to 35,000 throughout the state. The Tahoe basin is renowned as California’s “bear capital,” boasting a dense population of about 300 black bears, especially active between March and November.
Although black bear attacks on humans are rare, officials still advise caution. To ensure safety for both humans and bears in bear country, the California Fish and Wildlife Department recommends “bear-proofing” cars by not leaving any food or fragrant items, such as pet food, birdseed, or scented air fresheners, inside the vehicles. Additionally, keeping car windows fully closed and doors locked, as well as using odor-removing sprays on the interior, can help prevent bear encounters and protect these majestic animals in their natural habitat