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Bear Breaks Into Prius, 'Drives' Away As Family Vacationing In Lake Tahoe Watches From Window (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 09/08/11 03:19 PM ET Updated: 11/08/11 05:12 AM ET

Bear Drives Car

A family vacationing in Lake Tahoe, Calif., awoke to the sound of their car horn only to find a bear trapped inside their Toyota Prius.

The bear, reportedly stuck inside the car, began thrashing in an attempt to free itself and moved the gear shift from park to neutral, the Contra Costa Times reports.

The family seemed to sympathize with the large animal, though.

"By the time he got that car in gear he was desperate," Cece McCarthy told KABC-TV.

"He was probably thinking, "Why can't I get out of here? What's happening?'" Brian McCarthy said to Denver's NBC 9.

The car rolled down the driveway and crashed into some boulders in a neighbor's lawn, causing some damage to the exterior.

But damage to the interior was far worse.

The bear had ripped out the back seats, clawed through the fabric and destroyed the paneling, NBC 9 reports.

The animal managed to free itself and ran away, but the police were surprised by the call.

"Normally, you'll get reports of the Dumpster divers and trash divers, but bears breaking into cars is different," Lt. Stevenson of the South Lake Tahoe department, told the New York Daily News.

The owners claim there was not any food in the vehicle.

Apparently bears have a knack for getting into Toyotas.

A brown bear in Colorado reportedly broke into a Corolla last summer and also got stuck.

The car rolled downhill before hitting some trees, according to Denver's ABC 7 News. The car's owner said he thought the bear might have been attracted to a sandwich that was left in the car.

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