Durango-area woman awakens to find car interior destroyed by bear

BAYFIELD, COLO. (KRQE) - A Durango-area woman awoke Wednesday to find the inside of her SUV ripped to shreds by a bear.

Kaylie Smith says she got up around 5 a.m. and realized she had received multiple text messages from her daughter, 17-year-old Kourtney.

"They were very panicked messages," Smith said.

Kourtney had jolted awake around 1:30 a.m. to honking coming from her mom's 2003 Honda Pilot outside their home in the Forest Lakes neighborhood.

When Kourtney looked outside, she realized a bear was in her mom's car, unable to free itself.

She didn't wake up her mom, knowing her mom had been really tired over the past several days.

When Smith finally read her daughter's messages about what happened hours later, she says, "Ran upstairs. I looked outside and my car was demolished."

The bear was long gone, but the damage remained. Smith wishes her daughter had woken her up, but says there wasn't much she could have done anyway.

Smith went to sleep Tuesday night with her Pilot locked up tight, no food left inside. She says she knows what living in the wilderness means, so she takes every precaution to keep something like this from happening.

"I was very shocked," she said of the bear's ability to pry its way into her car and then lock itself inside.

"He took apart every door panel. Tore the seat belts out of the walls," she said. "He was just going crazy, just trying to get out of the car, poor bear."

Upholstery ripped to shreds, and, of course, a little something "extra."

"He left me a present in the backseat," Smith laughed. "That's going to be really fun to clean up."

Despite her only mode of transportation no longer having a working door, Smith kept a positive attitude about the ordeal.

"We live in the middle of the woods where they were first, and we're invading their space so they're going to invade our space too."

Unfortunately, she does not have a comprehensive coverage and the damage will not be covered by insurance. She expects to fork over possibly thousands of dollars to fix the SUV.

Someone has started a GoFundMe on behalf of the single mother of three.


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