Bear crashes in runaway car

DENVER Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:16pm EDT

A male Himalayan black bear rests inside its open enclosure at the Padamaja Naidu Himalayan zoological park in Darjeeling, about 80 km (50 miles) from the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri October 17, 2006. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A male Himalayan black bear rests inside its open enclosure at the Padamaja Naidu Himalayan zoological park in Darjeeling, about 80 km (50 miles) from the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri October 17, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

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DENVER (Reuters) - A black bear attracted by the smell of a peanut butter sandwich managed to open the door of a car, climb in and got stuck, knocking the gear stick into neutral and sending the car rolling down a slope into trees.

The blare of the car horn alerted the members of the Story family who realized 17-year-old Ben's Toyota was no longer parked in the driveway of their home in Larksspur near Denver.

When they went to explore they discovered the car and trapped culprit at the bottom of the hill -- a giant bear with teeth bared and claws tearing through the car's interior.

The bear was trapped inside the car for two hours before police were able to release the animal who ran off into nearby woods.

Ben and his sister Becky said the bear was likely lured into the car by a certain scintillating scent.

"There was a peanut butter sandwich in the back seat," Ben told reporters, adding that his car was ruined.

(Reporting by Katharine Jackson of Reuters Television, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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