Yellowstone Bear Destroys Car After Doors Left Unlocked

A Yellowstone-area bear destroyed a car over the weekend after the doors were left unlocked. Before being let out of the car, the bear left a special gift for the car owners.

Jimmy Orr

August 09, 20222 min read

Bear 8 9 22 scaled

It’s a story that repeats itself numerous times every summer.

Person leaves car unlocked. Bear opens door of car and gets locked inside. Bear destroys car.

It happened again in a community right outside of Yellowstone late last week.

According to media reports, Mike Pilati, from Red Lodge, Montana, noticed the turn signals were going off in his car about 11pm. When he went out to check, he noticed a bear was locked inside.

Pilati called the sheriff who called the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department. That agency said it would send someone in the morning to check it out.

Eight hours later, the wildlife service hadn’t arrived so Pilati opened the door with a stick and the bear tumbled out where she was greeted by her two cubs and they all ran off.

When Pilati went to survey his car, he found out what a trapped bear could do.

He told KTVQ television in Billings that the car is totaled.

The roof was destroyed, the doors were ruined, the dashboard was broken, the seats torn through.

And nature called while the bear was inside. After all it was eight hours so gifts directly from the bear were presented.

“Bears are stinky creatures,” Pilati said.

Two days later, the bear struck again. This time targeting a pickup truck also in Red Lodge.

This time, however, the bear was able to unlock the door after getting inside and did minimal damage.

Apparently, it’s a well-known bear and traps have been set-up to catch it but to no avail.

Residents told the TV station they aren’t upset with the intruder and they hope Fish, Wildlife, and Parks doesn’t penalize the bear “for being a bear.”

“We just don’t want the bear hurt,” one resident told the TV station.  “This is her home. We just share it with her.”

Share this article



Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.