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TWRA: Bear dies after getting stuck in hot car on Wednesday

State wildlife officials said the owner of the car found the bear dead inside the car after returning to it at around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A bear died after wandering into a person's car in Sevierville on Wednesday, trapped inside as the car warmed up, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

They said the car was parked at a rental cabin and the owner left it at around 10 a.m. They said the bear was found dead inside when they returned at around 6:45 p.m.

It looked like the bear unlocked the door with its paws or teeth and was trapped inside when the door shut behind it, according to a release from the TWRA.

"We believe that heat likely killed the bear as outside temperatures exceeded 95 degrees yesterday meaning the vehicle's interior possibly reached over 140 degrees," they said in the release.

There was trash inside the car, including an empty soda can and packages of food. They said bears can smell the faintest odors of food from inside a car, luring them in.

They encouraged people to lock their doors, roll up their windows, and never leave food or anything that smells like food inside their cars. Empty food containers, candy wrappers, fast food bags and even air fresheners can attract bears, they said.

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Posted by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on Thursday, June 23, 2022

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