A Florida family’s car was mauled by a 300-pound black bear after the animal managed to find its way into the vehicle and lock itself inside.
Randy Moon told ABCNews.com that he woke up around 2:30 a.m. early Monday morning when he heard a ruckus outside of the Paisley, Fla. house that he shares with his daughter Heather Bybee and her two kids.
“I looked outside at the car and saw the dash light on. There was a bear tearing it all to pieces, going from side to side,” Moon said.
Moon grabbed the car keys to unlock the door to the Toyota Matrix for the discombobulated bear, which he says had likely been trapped inside for a few hours.
“I stood there and opened the door — the bear and I were face-to-face. I said, ‘you gotta get out of here.’ He was foaming in the mouth,” Moon said.
Once the door was open, the bear ran off. But Bybee’s car, which was covered in paw prints, was a shambles. The car’s interior consoles were destroyed, the interior roof was clawed through and the doors had been scratched to pieces.
Moon said that the car, which he helped his daughter buy four months ago, is totaled.
This was not the first encounter that the family has had with bears, which have been known to roam around the community that borders the Ocala National Forest, 50 miles north of Orlando.
Moon said that in the past he’s seen bears in their back yard picking through the garbage. At one point a bear took off with the 30-pound pig that they kept in the yard.
“They’re not out to hurt you unless you provoke them,” he said of the bears.
The family also had to deal with a dispute with the insurance company, which will not pay for the destroyed car. Bybee was left without transportation, a difficult predicament for a single mother of two, whose disabled son needs weekly treatment on his legs.
“I don’t know where else to turn,” Moon said. “We’ve tried lawyers, they said that they don’t take that kind of thing.”
Moon said that he was able to find a 2006 Nissan for his daughter on Wednesday, which he purchased and will pick up today from a dealer, who knocked $1,000 off the price.