Sevierville, Tennessee -- A car owner left their vehicle behind for a few hours and returned to find a bear dead inside in Tennessee.

Officials said the animal managed to get inside the car while searching for food and then trapped itself inside the vehicle on a day when the outdoor temperature crossed 95 degrees.

The car was parked at a rental cabin. The vehicle's owner left the spot in a different car at around 10 a.m. and was away for about nine hours.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) said the incident took place Thursday in Sevierville, which is about 30 miles from Knoxville in East Tennessee, according to CNN.

While the owner was away, officials said the bear entered the vehicle by using its teeth or paws to open the door, which was left unlocked. At some point, the car’s door closed and locked the animal inside the vehicle, ABC News reported.

“The car's owner left the cabin in a different vehicle around 10 a.m. and found the bear dead inside upon returning at 6:45 p.m.,” TWRA said in a statement on Facebook.

“It appears that the bear got inside the car by using its teeth or paws to open the unlocked door and was trapped inside after the door shut behind it. We believe that heat likely killed the bear as outside temperatures exceeded 95 degrees yesterday meaning the vehicle's interior possibly reached over 140 degrees,” TWRA explained.

Officers from TWRA took the opportunity to warn the public about leaving food items and garbage around in areas where bears could potentially appear.

As they shared pictures of the bear inside the vehicle on Facebook, TWRA asked readers to "notice the empty soda can and food package on the floorboard."

"Bears have noses 7 times better than a bloodhound and can smell even the faintest odor of food inside a vehicle,” TWRA added.

They advised people to lock up their doors and ensure to roll up all the vehicle’s windows. They also urged people never to leave food or anything that smells like food inside the vehicle.

“Empty food containers, candy wrappers, fast food bags, and even air fresheners can attract bears. Please be #BearWise and help us keep bears wild and alive,” TWRA added.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay / chacha8080