The best way to take the edge off the summer heat is to take a dip, whether it be in a river, a lake, or a kiddie pool. These two bears in North Bend, Washington, understood the assignment. The pair found an occupant-free kiddie pool on a basketball court and took the opportunity to climb into the inviting water. While the Pacific Northwest area is known for milder temperatures, usually hovering in the low to mid-80s, this summer has been a smidge warmer. Residents have seen the mercury hit 95 degrees Fahrenheit quite a few times. Such conditions almost always cause wildlife to prioritize finding water and staying hydrated and cooled as much as possible.
Though, I'm pretty sure bears didn't need an excuse to swim. This duo is too big for both to fit, so the bears fight over the kiddie pool to see who comes out on top. Of course, their scuffle was caught on video and shared on YouTube for all to see.
At the beginning of the video, it is clear the bear on the left of the screen has dug his heels in, with no intention of giving up his sweet spot. However, the bear on the right has other plans. He starts pushing and shoving in an attempt to eject his counterpart. When mouthing at him didn't work, he threw all his weight into a shoulder shove. He gets both of his brother's feet out of the pool and successfully takes ownership with one last push.
After a solid stare-down, his poor brother has no choice but to walk off in defeat. The winning bear settles into the water, ready to relax. He lays his head on the side of the pool in a purely zen-like mood. In the background, you can see his sibling walking away, potentially still sour about the outcome. Following a slight head turn, he continues on his way off the basketball court and toward the trees. He may have left for now, but something tells me he will be back!
Black Bears in Washington State
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) says an estimated 20,000 black bears live within the state's borders, and as the human footprint further expands into bear habitat, encounters become more common. Around 500 reports and complaints, ranging from sightings to human-bear interactions, are reported to WDFW each year.
As you'd expect, it's typically trashcans, bird feeders, and the like that attract bears and lead to a lot of the incidents, but now we know we can't rule out an enticing kiddie pool on a hot day, either.
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