Watch a Black Bear Mama Load Four Cubs Into a Minivan, the Obvious Choice

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: March 21, 2023
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

Key Points:

  • One day in the Adirondack Mountains, a mama bear walks into a driveway, curiously opens a family’s van door, and walks inside. She then invites her cubs in too.
  • The incident was caught on camera. No humans were harmed.
  • Bears may enter vehicles in search of food. A bear’s sense of smell is 2,100 times stronger than a human’s!

Upstate New York is home to some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery. With towering forests, flowing streams, and the Adirondack Mountains, it’s a jaw-dropping getaway anyone would be lucky to call home. 

One family that resides in the area has cameras placed throughout their property for an extra layer of security. A camera pointing at their driveway gave them an inside look at how curious the local wild animals can be. 

During a seemingly normal afternoon, a mother black bear strolls up the family’s driveway and is instantly intrigued by a minivan. Without hesitation, the mama bear opens the side door and takes a look around. 

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Black bear getting into household garbage
Bears will do through trash cans and even enter cars and homes in search of food.


Mother bears are tender, caring, dedicated, strict, perceptive, and watchful with their cubs. Bears exhibit human-like emotions like empathy, fear, joy, playfulness, social behavior, and even altruism. They are all distinct individuals with separate characteristics. 

Both younger and older bears play socially and have ritualistic ways of assessing the friendliness of new people. Bears regularly differentiate between aggressive and non-aggressive human behavior.

Thankfully, no humans were outside for this family of bears to be frightened by. As soon as the mother black bear assessed the situation, she gathered her cubs and loaded them right into the van, as if they were on their way to soccer practice! 

Bears getting into vehicles is more common than you may realize. There are a plethora of videos online of the four-legged forest Teddies finding their way around all types of vehicles. They are endlessly curious and just want to see what the giant hunk of metal is all about.

Is This Normal Behavior? Attracting Bears to Vehicles

Black Bear Population by State
Bears have a sense of smell that is 2,100 times more powerful than a human’s.

©jo Crebbin/

One of the main reasons a bear may enter your vehicle is because they smell food. The best sense of smell among all animals on earth is supposedly reserved for bears. For instance, the average dog has a 100-fold greater sense of smell than a human. That of a bloodhound is 300 times superior. 

A bear’s sense of smell is 2,100 times more powerful than a human’s and seven times more powerful than a blood hound’s. Chances are, if you have a leftover bag of fries or yesterday’s lunch left behind in a car, a bear will be attracted to it and do whatever it can to get its paws on a tasty morsel. 

In order to discover food, mates, monitor their children, and escape danger, particularly between rival individuals, bears’ great sense of smell evolved. Bears, with the exception of mothers, are solitary creatures who must travel great distances in search of sufficient food to support themselves. 

A bear can smell animal carcasses upwind and 20 miles distant because of its keen sense of smell. Make sure you take all the food out of your vehicle unless you want unwelcome visitors, no matter how cute they appear on video!

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black bear
Black bears are generally only dangerous when provoked or hungry.
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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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