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two young bear siblings

Gatlinburg Bear Cubs Get Locked in Van and Honk for Help (Video Included!)

Two Gatlinburg bear cubs got themselves in a bit of trouble recently when they climbed into an unlocked van and ended up getting trapped! After accidentally locking themselves in the vehicle, the bears continuously honked the horn for help. Learn more about this black bear encounter and watch the video to find out if the Gatlinburg bear cubs escaped:

The video shows two bear cubs searching for a way out of the van while one continuously honks the horn for help. The van belongs to Jeff Stokely from A.S.A.P. Security Systems. Stokely said he parked his van outside of a customer’s house in Gatlinburg, and while he was inside working heard a car horn blowing. The horn went off for about 20 minutes before Stokely realized it might be his van and went outside to find out. He definitely wasn’t expecting to find two Gatlinburg bear cubs in the front seat! Stokely cautiously opened the back door of the van to let the black bears escape — all while keeping a close eye out for Mama Bear who might be lurking nearby! The mother never appeared, and the two cubs made it safely out of the van and back into the wild.

Related Black Bear Vehicle Videos

There have been numerous sightings of black bears in Gatlinburg who have tried to break into cars, and most of them have been successful! Let it be a reminder to always keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up when you’re away from the car — especially if you have any food or trash in the vehicle. Here are some videos of black bears breaking into cars in Gatlinburg:

Black Bear Tries to Climb in Vehicle:

This Gatlinburg black bear tried his hardest to get into the van, but wasn’t able to do so. The bear can be seen trying to use where the window was partially opened to get in, even climbing on top of the car to get a better angle! Eventually, the bear gave up and went on his way.

Family of Bears Break into Two Vans:

This family of black bears was able to break into not one but TWO vans! The mother bear opened the door to the first van and climbed inside, her two cubs following her. Then, she went and opened the door to the second van! The bears got away with some PopTarts and other snacks.

Black Bear Steals Lunch from Truck:

It was lunchtime for this black bear in Gatlinburg! The bear opened the door to the truck before escaping with a Sonic bag. Unfortunately for the bear, all that was left in the bag was trash. He came back a few minutes later only to find the doors to the truck locked.

Black Bear Safety Tipsblack bear in a field in autumn

  • Keep all car doors locked at all times
  • Keep windows rolled up
  • Throw away all trash and keep food secured
  • Stay at least 50 yards away from bears
  • Don’t feed the bears
  • If you do encounter a bear, move away slowly and sideways, keeping an eye on the bear
  • Never run from a bear

These are just some of the most important black bear safety tips to keep in mind when you visit the Smoky Mountains! Following these tips will help protect both you and the bears.

For another adorable video of Gatlinburg bear cubs, check out our blog, “Gatlinburg Bear Cubs Go for a Splash in Cabin’s Hot Tub.”