CASWELL COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – It took three-and-a-half minutes for a bear to invade the Pinnix family cabin grounds in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, break into a vehicle and steal a bag of popcorn –all as the family watched.
Teniesh Pinnix of Caswell County, North Carolina, said the experience left the family “shocked” and full of lessons learned about how to prevent bear invasions.
The encounter happened Saturday morning while the family was vacationing in a cabin outside the city limits of Gatlinburg.
Pinnix told Queen City News that she was on the front porch when she heard a sound coming from some nearby bushes.
“I thought to myself. ‘I know that ain’t no squirrel making no noise like that,'” she said. “I looked over, and I thought, ‘oh Lord, it’s a bear.’”
She pulled out her phone to capture the bear on video.
“I was shocked,” Pinnix she said.
The bear walked to four vehicles the family had parked in the driveway and pulled on the handles.
In the video, Pinnix kept repeating how “insane” the whole situation was.
She said, “I’m from Caswell County, and there are some strange animals out there, but I have never seen a bear.”
On its fourth attempt, the bear managed to get inside an unlocked van. It was in and out within 20 seconds with a bag of popcorn.
Pinnix said the family later learned that the bear had gone inside another vehicle to steal a bag of chips.
The Caswell County woman said that, while funny, the whole experience has left a large lesson imprinted on her and her family.
She said, “no snacks, no food, no nothing. Don’t go leaving anything in your car.”