SONTAG, Miss. — Stealing a picnic basket is one thing. Mauling a car is quite another.

A Mississippi wildlife department biologist says a bear attacked a woman’s car Friday in the Sontag community about 60 miles south of Jackson.

Jamie Holt tells the Jackson Clarion-Ledger there were tooth and claw marks consistent with a bear on the front wheel wells and hood. There was headlight damage, and the front license tag holder was ripped off. There was also a muddy bear track nearby.

No one was inside the car, and it’s not clear what prompted the attack. There was no food inside.

A nearby trash can was untouched, as were apples in the yard.

Mississippi’s black bear population is growing, and bears are increasingly seen in areas where they’ve not been seen before.

Information from: The Clarion-Ledger,