Black bear lays waste to Chevy |

Black bear lays waste to Chevy

Naomi Havlen

A black bear ripped the inside of an SUV to shreds sometime Thursday night or early Friday morning in the Williams Ranch subdivision near Smuggler Mountain.Nance Schutter, owner of the trashed 2001 Chevy Tahoe, said that bears are regularly fighting to get into the trash cans in her neighborhood, so she didn’t pay attention to the loud noises coming from her driveway.”I’ve done everything I could to keep them out of the area – I bought a motion detector at Sharper Image and used ammonia, and the bears still get in,” she said. “I’ve gotten used to our dogs barking at bears.”But in the morning, when a neighbor asked her what happened to her car, she was taken aback by the damage.”This bear pushed through the passenger’s side window, broke the windshield, tore the paneling off one of the doors, bit through the dash board and pooped all over the place,” Schutter said. Sure enough, the bear left behind piles of waste – mostly comprised of bright red berries – inside the vehicle.A trash bin was also raided and its contents strewn about the street at the Yellow Brick School in the West End Thursday night.Earlier this week, a Colorado Division of Wildlife representative said human-bear conflicts have reached an alarming rate this month. Wildlife officer Kevin Wright said bruins’ food sources are in a transition time. Flowering plants are dying off, and most berries and acorns aren’t ripe yet.Wright is warning valley residents that doors and windows left open in homes are invitations to hungry bears. But when it comes to Schutter’s SUV, she’s at a loss about why the animal was interested in getting inside.”There might have been a granola bar inside, but it’s been there since Christmas,” she said. “The car mostly smells like dogs since I drive my dogs around in it, but I do keep my car clean.”Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is

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