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Ask A Bear: Bear Steals, Destroys Car for PB&J Sandwich

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

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Q: Can a bear REALLY smell a small amount of food through my car? I’m not talking about coolers of leftover BBQ—I’m talking about a small snack or sandwich. I’ve parked at at trailheads in bear country many times and forgotten a bag of chips or something with no problems. Will they really think it’s worth the effort to tear through all that metal?—Drivin’ and Eatin’, via email



A: In a word: YES. I’m even willing to commit grand theft auto for a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

Don’t believe me? Check out this video from 17-year-old Ben Story of Larkspur, Colo., who lost his shiny red 2008 Toyota Corolla because he forgot the PB & J in the back seat.

Wildlife officers finally released me by tying a rope to the door and pulling it open, at which time I ran off. But it was too late for the the vehicle, and I left quite the going-away present in the backseat.

What can I say? Cars make me nervous.

—BEAR

Got a question for the bear? Send it to askabear@backpacker.com.