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'Curious' Bear Crashes Bixby Family's Vacation, Destroys Their Car

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Georgianne Gilliam and her family were visiting relatives last week in Buena Vista, Colorado. Georgianne Gilliam and her family were visiting relatives last week in Buena Vista, Colorado.
The family got a picture of the bear sitting the backseat of the car. The family got a picture of the bear sitting the backseat of the car.
No one knows how long Curious had been in that car, but he sure did a number on it. No one knows how long Curious had been in that car, but he sure did a number on it.
The Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife shot him with a tranquilizer through a hole in the front windshield. The Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife shot him with a tranquilizer through a hole in the front windshield.
She didn't have bear insurance coverage on her car, but said her insurance company decided to make an exception. She didn't have bear insurance coverage on her car, but said her insurance company decided to make an exception.
BIXBY, Oklahoma -

A Bixby family met an unexpected guest during a vacation to Colorado last week.

"Still, it's been a week and I can't really believe there was a bear in our car," said Georgianne Gilliam. "It's just totally shocking.

Gilliam and her family were visiting relatives last week in Buena Vista, Colorado. They were about to pack up the family's Honda Civic when she came face to face with a huge surprise.

"I literally saw a bear in our car in the front seat looking right at me through the window," Gilliam said.

Her daughter nicknamed the bear "Curious."

"We were just all running in circles for a while there, trying to figure out what to do and who to call," Gilliam said.

No one knows how long Curious had been in that car, but he sure did a number on it.

"The roof was gone, he had ripped the seats out of the backseat, he had pulled stuff out of the trunk to the front seat, the door panels were completely ripped off and gone," Gilliam said.

"The seatbelts were shredded, there was nothing left in there. Literally, every seatbelt was shredded. Every airbag - which I'm sure scared the daylights out of him - every airbag had gone off and was ripped out. He tried everything, I'm sure to get out and on top of that was completely panicked."

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department says there are at least 18,000 black bears in their state. The bears can smell food from five miles away and it's not uncommon for them to open car doors when looking for a snack.

A bevy of agencies arrived to help. They wanted to open a door and let Curious run out himself, but there was too much damage and the doors weren't moving, so they shot him with a tranquilizer through a hole in the front windshield.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife policy is to put down a bear who shows aggression. So, Curious is no longer with us.

Gilliam is sad about that and said the ordeal is a great learning experience.

"I think, if anything, just be aware of your surroundings. Don't take it for granted, as far as wildlife. I've seen firsthand now the damage that they can do and it's not pretty," she said.

Gilliam said they rented a car for the drive home. She didn't have bear insurance coverage on her car, but said her insurance company decided to make an exception.

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