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Bear surprises boaters at Beltzville

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    A bear swims across Beltzville Lake around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. Scan this photo with the Prindeo app to see video.

Published July 06. 2018 12:24PM

A peaceful boating trip on Beltzville Lake turned out to be quite the adventure for a pair of couples from Kunkletown and Palmerton on Sunday night.

Denise Schreiber of Kunkletown said her family, along with Craig and Alicia Pfaff of Palmerton, had just launched off at Preachers Camp around dusk, when they spotted a bear in the water.

“The girls were in one boat and the guys were in another, and all of a sudden everyone on the other boat was waving their arms,” Schreiber said. “Then my husband was yelling, ‘It’s a bear.’ ”

Schreiber said there were several people back on shore, so she notified them to be aware of what was happening. The bear, meanwhile, continued to make its way across the lake as the families captured the moment on video.

Growing up in Palmerton, Schreiber said she’s been boating at Beltzville all her life, but had never seen a bear in the lake.

“I’ve seen them on the side of the water,” she said. “I’ve seen deer on the side of the water. But nothing like this. I’m so thankful that my children got to see it as this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

After the nearly 10-minute swim, the bear showed few signs of fatigue.

“We thought it would just kind of plop down there, but it scurried right off into the bushes,” Schreiber said. “It was really quick.”

The family posted its video, during which they could be heard giving the bear encouragement, online and it quickly gained popularity.

Schreiber said it had eclipsed 14,000 views, something she never imagined would happen while she was filming.

“It was just a super cool experience,” she said. “Something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.”

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