The hungry black bear trapped inside the hot car suffered a tragic end this week.
A man who rented a room in Sevilleville, Tennessee, left his parked car at 10 a.m. Wednesday and returned that evening to find the bear dead inside the vehicle, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Organization.
“The bear appeared to have entered the car using its teeth or paws to open the open door and was trapped inside after the back door was closed,” the statement said.
The agency noted that the car contained an “empty soda can and food package” that may have attracted animals.
“Bears have 7 times better noses than blood horses and can even smell the faint smell of food in the vehicle,” the agency said in a statement. “Lock your doors, roll up your windows, and do not leave anything that smells like food or food inside! Empty food containers, candy wrappers, fast food bags and even air fresheners will attract bears.
Wildlife officials believe the bear was eventually killed by the heat. The outside temperature that day was over 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Inside a car, the temperature can rise to around 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, which is why the American Veterinary Association strongly warns against leaving pets in the car on a hot or humid day.
Extreme temperatures were recorded in the south and southwest last week. The New York Times reports that 21 heat waves have been broken in the Ohio Valley and southeastern United States.