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This Family’s Water Barrel Mysteriously Emptied Every Night. Then They Discovered The Culprit

Image: via Honest To Paws
Like many people, one family in Colorado kept a water barrel in the yard. However, they kept discovering that, for some reason, it was empty every morning. They were therefore desperate to get to the bottom of the mystery – but they would never have believed just what was using the water.
Image: Xnatedawgx
Colorado Springs sits at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, in the shadow of the iconic Pikes Peak. Furthermore, the city is in close proximity to Pike National Forest, and so its residents are used to being surrounded by nature.
Image: Aleks Dorohovich
However, in 2010, one family had an encounter with the local wildlife that was closer than they ever thought possible, and it all began with their water barrel. The container, which was placed in their backyard, was used by the family to collect rainfall.
Image: reza shayestehpour
But in early fall that year, the family kept waking up to find that their barrel was practically empty. And given the fact that it had been raining, there was no logical reason why. They hadn’t used the water, and there was no way it could have evaporated so quickly. So, frankly, they were at a loss.
Image: Rishabh Varshney
As a result, the family decided that they would try to catch the water thief. So, they installed security cameras around their property to identify the culprit; that way, they could capture evidence of the offender in action.
Image: Ralph Matzner’s Blog
All they could do now was wait patiently for the wrongdoer to show themselves. However, for the first few days they saw nothing other than a black bear ambling through their yard.
Image: Greg Hume
Black bears are fairly common in Colorado Springs, so the family didn’t think too much of seeing one on their doorstep. However, when they discovered what the animal had been up to, they were shocked.
Image: Ralph Matzner’s Blog
After days of monitoring their cameras, the family could grasp a good idea of the bear’s routine. Almost every night, the animal would enter their garden and head straight for their rain barrel – and what it would do next was completely astonishing.
Image: Ralph Matzner’s Blog
Rather than quenching his thirst in the open receptacle, the bear plunged its whole body into the water. Then, it spent ages relaxing in the water surrounded by nothing but peace and tranquility. It was as if it was enjoying its own personal hot tub.
Image: Ralph Matzner’s Blog
The family decided the footage that they’d caught of the bear was too hilarious to keep to themselves. So, they shared it with friends, who then passed stills on to the wider public. The images showed the bear putting its feet up in the tub, and it didn’t take long for them to go viral.
Image: Bess Sadler
But although some were pleased the family got to the bottom of their mystery, others weren’t convinced. In fact, many people had their doubts as to whether the images were even real, and they had their reasons, too.
Image: Jeannette S.
Black bears most commonly live in forests, but they can be lured into human settlements by the prospect of food. With that said, however, the animals tend to avoid people and all costs. So, it seemed unlikely that a black bear would enter a garden most nights just for a bath.
Image: PLF73
And if a black bear did come into contact with humans, it’s unlikely that it would ever attack outright. Instead, it would feign charges in an attempt to frighten the person away. If a black bear is actually angered, though, it could easily claim a human’s life.
Image: sbruns76
In fact, in June 2017 there were two black bear maulings in Alaska, one of which was fatal. Patrick Cooper, who was just 16, was killed by a bear after becoming separated from his running group. He called his family to say he was being pursued by the wild animal, but there was nothing that they could do to save him.
Image: Jethro Taylor
However, fatal black bear attacks remain rare. In Alaska, where bear populations are high, just six people have reportedly been killed by the animal in 130 years. So, people don’t consider them as deadly as other species of bears like the grizzly.
Image: YouTube/Barcroft Animals
In fact, some people even consider the species to be rather tame. Black bears have been known to act friendly with humans, and some people have even reported playing with the animals in the wild – although this probably shouldn’t be advised.
Image: Victor
So, with that in mind, many people who saw the images of the bear taking a bath never doubted their authenticity. Knowing the animal’s playful nature, some suggested that it was perfectly plausible for the bear to have taken a dip.
Image: Jitze Couperus
“I do not see any reason a black bear would not play on a large tub of water. Black bears can be playful and do like water,” one internet user wrote on a forum. “Based on the amount of grass in the yard and the type of trees. I would guess this is a warm climate and a bear would enjoy some cooling off on a warm day.”
Image: Ralph Matzner’s Blog
“It seems pretty plausible to me,” another person agreed. “Black bears can become very casual about people, they continue to play throughout adulthood, and they like water. It doesn’t seem unbelievable to me that a wild bear would come play in a water barrel.”
Image: Ralph Matzner’s Blog
So, although we may never uncover the true origin of the bear pictures, it’s nice to think we have something in common with our fellow animals. While we may live such different lives, the images just go to show that for humans and bears alike, there’s nothing that a nice, relaxing bath cannot fix.

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