A bear cub drew a crowd of spectators at a Lake Tahoe neighborhood as it munched on barbecue-chicken-and-jalapeno pizza in the back seat of a vintage red Buick convertible.
It also apparently washed it down with a swig of a Jack Daniels
mixer, an Absolute vodka and tonic, and a beer taken from a cooler,
the vehicle's owner said.
About 30 people watched the cub lumber around a parking lot in
upper Kingbury Grade on Sunday before it homed in on the Buick and
the spicy pizza on the floor.
The bruin was unfazed by the car's horn the blew nonstop as the
cub pressed the seat into the steering wheel.
"The bear was loping along in the parking lot and then decides
to get inside the car," said resident Jerry Patterson.
"People were screaming at him, the horn was going off, but he
was completely unaware. He did what he wanted to do and the people
The bear remained inside the 1964 Buick Skylark for about 20
minutes and at times put his paws on the dash as if he were holding
on for a ride, Patterson said.
The owner of the car, David Ziello of South Lake Tahoe, said the
bruin didn't cause any damage, but slopped cheese and jalapenos on
the seats and floor.
Carl Lackey, a biologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife,
said up to two dozen bears live in the Kingsbury region near the
south shore of Lake Tahoe.
The residential area sees more of them because the bears have
found a primary source from Dumpsters and people who leave their
food and trash in the open, said Lackey, who tracks and relocates
bears on the Nevada side of the Tahoe basin.
Lackey warned visitors and residents against keeping food inside
"When you are in bear habitat, regardless of the time of year,
you cannot leave any kind of food out - whether it's food inside
the car, trash inside or outside your car, or pet food," Lackey
"Bears will find it and in doing so, it is increasing your
chances of serious conflict."