June 12, 2024

On June 10th, 2024, a black bear caused extensive damage to a car parked in a driveway in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The incident occurred overnight, with the bear gaining entry to the vehicle by smashing the rear window.

Discovery of the Damage

The car's owner, identified as Sarah Thompson, discovered the damage on the morning of June 11th. Upon approaching her vehicle, she noticed shattered glass on the ground and visible damage to the rear window.

Interior Destruction

Upon opening the car door, Thompson was met with a scene of chaos. The bear had ransacked the interior, shredding seats, carpets, and dashboard controls. Clothing, food wrappers, and other items had been scattered throughout the car.

Cause of Entry and Damage

According to wildlife officials, the bear was likely searching for food when it broke into the car. The smell of food items left inside the vehicle likely attracted the animal. The bear's attempts to gain access to the food resulted in the destruction of the car's interior.

No Injuries or Confrontation

Fortunately, no injuries to humans or animals were reported during the incident. The bear left the scene after gaining entry to the car and was not seen again.

Expert Advice

Wildlife experts from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) advise residents to take precautions to avoid similar incidents:

  • Remove attractants: Do not leave food, pet food, or garbage outside unattended. Secure these items in airtight containers or indoors.
  • Lock vehicles: Always keep car doors and windows locked, even if the vehicle is parked in a driveway or garage.
  • Be aware of surroundings: Be mindful of wildlife activity in your area and report any sightings or suspicious behavior to the OMNRF.
  • Clean car interiors: Regularly clean out your car to remove any food crumbs or scents that could attract bears.

Prevention and Mitigation

Residents in areas with known bear activity should consider additional measures to mitigate the risk of encounters:

  • Install motion-activated lights: Place motion-activated lights around your property to deter bears at night.
  • Use bear-resistant bins: Store trash and compost in bear-proof containers to prevent the spread of food scents.
  • Trim bushes and trees: Keep vegetation trimmed around your home to reduce hiding places for bears.
  • Carry bear spray: When hiking or camping in bear country, carry bear spray as a deterrent.


The incident in Sault Ste. Marie serves as a reminder of the importance of taking precautions to minimize human-bear conflicts. By following expert advice and implementing prevention measures, residents can help protect their property and safety from wildlife encounters.

Additional Information:

  • Black bears are generally not aggressive towards humans, but they may become agitated or defensive if they feel threatened.
  • Bears have a keen sense of smell and can detect food from a distance.
  • Leaving food or attractants unattended can increase the likelihood of bear encounters.
  • If you encounter a bear, remain calm, make yourself known by talking or clapping, and slowly back away. Do not approach or feed the bear.
  • Report any bear sightings or incidents to the OMNRF by calling 1-800-668-2745.

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