CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Bear destroys inside of SUV in Avery County

AVERY COUNTY, N.C. — An unwelcome visitor was caught on camera inside an SUV in the North Carolina mountains Sunday night.

Video from Avery County shows wildlife officers freeing a more than 200-pound bear after it locked itself inside the SUV.

A wildlife officer can be seen carefully approaching the SUV. Alan Yawn said when he went outside Monday morning, the windows were fogged up and he knew something had gotten inside.

“As I looked in, I could see a form in the car, which I thought was a person, so I hit the window. Then, that turned out to be a bear,” Yawn said.

Yawn shared video with Channel 9 of the officer freeing the black bear after breaking out one of the windows. A family member also took video from a distance as the bear ran out of the SUV and took off.

Wildlife officers believe the bear was looking for food and jiggled the door handles. Once inside, the wind from the overnight storm blew the door shut.

The bear also hit the door lock and because the windows were shut, the bear couldn’t get out, and the family said the keys were left inside.

“The bears are coming out of hibernation. They are coming out of a winter season, where they’re not getting a whole lot of nutrition, so they’re trying to get as much calories intake as they can,” said Phillip Fulmer, a North Carolina wildlife officer.

After the bear was freed from the SUV, the family surveyed the damage. Much of the inside was destroyed by the bear, who most likely was looking for food.

Yawn hopes others learn from his family’s experience in the mountains.

“I mean it’s crazy. So I scared it, but needless to say, it scared me a bit more,” Yawn said.

(WATCH BELOW: Bear spotted roaming in Bessemer City, officials say)