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Bear plays in Jim Thorpe man’s koi pond

Humans aren’t the only ones who turn to swimming as a perfect way to cool off during the hot summer months.

A Jim Thorpe area resident captured a video in late July of a black bear taking a dip in his newly installed backyard koi pond on a 90-plus degree day.

“We were out on our back deck, maybe about 40 feet away, and the bear just walked right up to the pond, pulled a few water hyacinths out and started playing around,” Tim Graves said. “The pond had only been in for a month. It seemed like he was in there forever, but it was probably about 3-4 minutes.”

Living in the shadow of state game lands, bears are no strangers to Graves’ neighborhood. While they pass by once in a while, he said they never bother anything. Several bears had “investigated” the pond, but none had gotten in before that July day.

“We have bears around us 24 hours a day,” he said. “Being in the Poconos, we’re kind of living on their turf so it’s expected to see them quite often.”

The bear’s pond swim was accentuated by a number of rubber ducks that Graves had placed there.

“Normally, the ducks are kind of stuck to the side, but I guess with the bear swimming around, they floated more to the middle,” Graves said. “It was really perfect timing for a nice little video.”

Luckily for Graves, his new pond didn’t sustain much damage, nor did the bear bother the fish, crayfish or frogs living there.

A few holes in the liner were patched up fairly easily.

Since the visit in July, Graves has seen more bears around the pond, mostly looking to get a quick drink.

“The last one we saw was probably around a month ago,” he said.

Graves has a YouTube channel, which can be found at https://bit.ly/35LfBwM, where he documents wildlife that visits his yard and pond.

A black bear takes a dip in a Jim Thorpe resident's koi pond in July, surrounded by rubber ducks. For a video of the bear in the pond, visit www.tnonline.com. SUBMITTED PHOTO
A black bear makes a Jim Thorpe resident's newly installed koi pond his swimming hole during a hot July day. SUBMITTED PHOTO