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Too hot to bear: Hairy visitor cools off in kiddie pool

A kiddie pool filled with water was the perfect size for a bear. When Dave Zbaracki returned to his home from checking on an elderly neighbor without power due to Thursday's severe storm, he discovered a black bear had in fact become comfortable ...

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A black bear relaxes in a swimming pool on the deck of Dave Zbaracki's home in the Congdon neighborhood of Duluth Monday. Dave Zbaracki submitted photo

A kiddie pool filled with water was the perfect size for a bear.

When Dave Zbaracki returned to his home from checking on an elderly neighbor without power due to Thursday's severe storm, he discovered a black bear had in fact become comfortable in the pool on his deck.

"I thought getting power yesterday would have been more exciting, but it wasn't. It was a bear in a kiddie pool," he said on Tuesday.

Typically, the wildlife Zbaracki sees in his Congdon neighborhood are deer and raccoons. He had seen the bear on Sunday and Monday rummaging through garbage.

But he still did a double take when he saw the bear in his pool on Monday afternoon - partly because his Newfoundland dog looks like a bear. But his dog was standing next to him, whining.

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"I think (the bear) just wanted to cool off and did his thing and then left," he said.

When he saw the bear out the window, he had been grabbing his car keys in the kitchen to run errands. He told his wife to get their young children into the car because he wasn't sure how they would react to the bear.

"Then I motioned for her to come in and she saw it too. We're like, oh my gosh, just couldn't believe it," she said.

He left the bear alone, taking a picture of it from inside the house. He notified the crew working on the power lines nearby that there was a bear in the neighborhood and when he returned home, the bear was gone.

"We're pretty used to encounters with wildlife, so I wasn't too concerned. I was more concerned with maybe pets or something like that. It was more funny than anything," he said.

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Lisa Kaczke, Duluth News Tribune

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