Longwood family surprised to find bear trapped inside SUV

When real-estate agent Rikki Koberg-Perrero and her family heard loud noises on Saturday night outside of their home in The Springs neighborhood, they walked outside to check it out.

They saw three bears near their garage — one of them stuck inside their Ford Expedition SUV.

“It was pretty creepy,” Karl Koberg, Rikki’s father, said Monday. “The other two bears then ran off.”

Now, state wildlife officers are working to trap an adult female bear that they believe is one of those bears. It’s also likely the same bear that recently attacked two dogs near that area, biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said. They are urging residents to keep pets indoors, lock vehicle doors and be cautious while outside.

Bears are a common sight in the Seminole County neighborhood off State Road 434 and near the Wekiva Springs State Park. But this is likely the first time anyone found a bear opening a car door and locking itself inside.

“It just pulled the handle,” Rikki Koberg-Perrero said.

The Kobergs ran inside their home and called 911. Minutes later, a state wildlife official opened the SUV door. The bear found its way out and ran away.

But the inside of the SUV is a mess. The seats are torn, the headliner is ripped and wires were pulled out.

“I’m just glad that there not a loss of life, or that anyone was hurt,” Rikki Koberg-Perrero said.

She posted a warning on “Be aware to lock your car doors.”

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