This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER (KDVR) — Bears are smarter than most people think, and a bear that managed to get into a car proves it.

Video from Ray Burris shows the bear opening the door and getting in the car to rummage around. The incident happened overnight Wednesday outside Burris’ home north of Golden.

Burris said the bear got a few crackers that his son had left in the car. Fortunately, Burris said the animal did more licking than biting.

Outside of cosmetic scratches, that’s the only damage, Burris said.

Since there was no other food in the car, the bear moved on and tried to open both driver and passenger doors on Burris’ truck. Luckily, he said, both were locked so the bear moved on.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has issued warnings to those living in bear country and anyone traveling into bear wildlife areas. It’s the time of year for bears to come out of hibernation and look for food.

Stay safe: Protect your area from bears

Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds those living in areas where bears are present to make sure they bearproof their homes and surrounding property. Also, those traveling and camping in bear country should be prepared not to attract bears near their location.

How to keep bears away from your home

  • Keep garbage in a well-secured location.
  • Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup.
  • Clean garbage cans regularly to keep them free of food odors: ammonia is effective.
  • Use a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster.
  • Don’t leave pet food or stock feed outside.
  • Bird feeders are a major source of bear/human conflicts. Attract birds naturally with flowers and water baths
  • Do not hang bird feeders from April 15 to Nov. 15.
  • Do not attract other wildlife by feeding them, such as deer, turkeys or small mammals.
  • Don’t allow bears to become comfortable around your house. If you see one, yell at it, throw things at it, make noise to scare it off.
  • Secure compost piles. Bears are attracted to the scent of rotting food.
  • Clean the grill after each use.
  • Clean up thoroughly after picnics in the yard or on the deck.
  • If you have fruit trees, don’t allow the fruit to rot on the ground.
  • If you keep small livestock, keep animals in a fully covered enclosure. Construct electric fencing if possible.
  • Don’t store livestock food outside, keep enclosures clean to minimize odors, and hang rags soaked in ammonia and/or Pine-Sol around the enclosure.
  • If you have beehives, install electric fencing where allowed.
  • Talk to your neighbors and kids about being bear-aware.
  • Keep garage doors closed.

Stay safe: Bearproof cars, traveling and campsites

  • Lock your doors when you’re away from home and at night.
  • Keep the bottom floor windows of your house closed when you’re not at home.
  • Do not keep food in your vehicle; roll up windows and lock the doors of your vehicles.
  • When car-camping, secure all food and coolers in a locked vehicle.
  • Keep a clean camp, whether you’re in a campground or in the backcountry.
  • When camping in the backcountry, hang food 100 feet or more from the campsite; don’t bring any food into your tent.
  • Cook food well away from your tent; wash dishes thoroughly.

Protect chickens, bees, livestock

  • Keep chickens, bees and livestock in a fully covered enclosure, especially at night. 
  • Construct electric fencing when possible.
  • Don’t store livestock feed outside.
  • Keep enclosures clean to minimize animal odors. 
  • Hang rags soaked in ammonia and/or Pine-Sol around the enclosure as a scent deterrent.

CPW said most human-bear conflicts occur in late summer into fall, but weather changes can affect that timeframe.