When Terri McPhail first heard the dogs barking, “going crazy,” she thought nothing of it. Dogsitting at a friend’s secluded house in Anmore, she knew the area was full of wildlife, but when the dogs wouldn’t stop, the Port Coquitlam resident realized something was off.
“I didn’t want to go out and face an intruder,” she told The Tri-City News. “So I waited about two minutes before going to the driveway.”
Outside she found the doors of her red Ford Escape wide open and thought, “That’s odd.” Upon closer inspection, the door handles were covered in a thick slobber; inside on the driver’s seat, she found a large paw print, evidence of the budding burglar.
Four days later, McPhail was finally able to review the security camera footage with the returned owner of the house. In the video, a black bear wanders into the frame, saunters up to the red car, rears up on his hind legs and lifts the door handle first try.
“It basically took about two minutes for the bear to wander from one side of the drive way, root through the car and walk off,” said McPhail, noting the bear came around to the other side of the vehicle and opened the passenger door in the similar nonchalant movement. “I had no food in there. I don’t know what it was after.”
McPhail said she’s heard all the warnings of bears ripping doors off vehicles to get inside and said she’s just glad her experience involved a “nice, considerate bear.”
On the other hand, she also says she has learned from the experience.
“I have a new perspective on why I should keep the house doors locked,” she said.