This young Georgia teacher knows there are black bears in Gatlinburg, but she never expected to wake up and find one in her car.
Then again, who does? Mary Jane Yarbrough is an art teacher at Houston County’s Warner Robins High School. A wonderful teacher at that, as she came to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to take an art class in order to feel better prepared for her students come fall classes.
“We want to rebuild the demon mascot that stands at the games and has fireworks coming out of it, but I definitely needed to learn some new skills,” Yarbrough tells 13 WMAZ.
Her art class was a week long. No biggie, right? It wasn’t, until she woke up Wednesday morning to the sound of a car horn blaring repeatedly.
“It was six in the morning and I just keep hearing honking happening,” she continues, still in disbelief. “I open the door. My dog is going crazy and I see that it’s my car that is honking and shaking and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, someone is in there. Someone is stuck in my car!'”
That someone, as her own footage reveals, turned out to be a black bear.
“The bear actually like smacked the window and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a bear,'” Yarbrough laughs. “It was just disbelief. Like there is no way.”
The enthusiastic teacher says her car was parked on a “slight tilt,” so she assumes the bear opened her car door – and then it promptly shut to trap the wild animal in.
Black Bear Decimates Teacher’s Camry: “He ripped the dash, my airbag, the radio is out…”
After a raucous, once-in-a-lifetime viewing, she called the police to help remove the black bear from her Camry. In short: Yarbrough is completely fine. But her Camry is not.
“He ripped the dash, my airbag, the radio is out, he went through my glove box…” she details. The bear’s tantrum doesn’t come at a good time, either, as cars are currently hard to come by due to a shipping shortage.
The damage, which you can see plainly below, is extensive. As for what may have brought the black bear into her car, she says the only two things inside were “gum and a protein bar,” but neither was eaten during the incident.
“I was really trying to hold onto that car for just a little longer until it wasn’t so hard to buy a car,” the teacher laments.
Yet through it all, she’s still all-smiles when it comes to her unbelievable story.
As for the police officers who came to her aid, Yarbrough says they told her this is “one of the worst” close encounters they’ve seen. Thankfully, however, the bear was released unharmed and no one was injured.
Mary Jane Yarbrough is taking an art class in Gatlinburg. She woke up Wednesday morning to find a black bear trapped in her car.WMAZ 13