Over 4.5 thousand miles away in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA, lies a high-alpine swimming hole, the location of choice for many local bears.
This natural pool goes by the nickname of the ‘Bear Bathtub’. Find out what happened when National Geographic photographer Ronan Donovan set out to document this wild wonder.

Flooded By Bears

It was another glorious day up in Yellowstone National Park. The sun was beaming, the birds were singing and Yogi and Baloo had set out to spend the day lounging and frolicking with their families in their favourite summer spot.
Baloo suggested that perhaps they might even go for a little dip in the pool to cool off, since there aren’t too many ice cream vans atop a volcanic hotspot in Wyoming.

Flooded by Bears Image © Paul John Bayfield

Naturally, National Geographic photographer Ronan Donovan saw this as the perfect opportunity to document the bears shenanigans in action.

Ronan created several camera traps to hide using enclosures made from Peli protective cases that had been specially modified to hold a camera within each one, with the intention to collect footage without disturbing the bears.

It would seem that these special contraptions didn’t stay hidden for long, though.

Baloo had decided he needed a new bath bomb, and so the hair bear bunch set out to find him one. And that they did - in the form of the camera traps.

The grizzlies went in on the camera traps. Despite weighing between 180–360 kg, their paws more than twice as big as the average human hand and harbouring a bowling ball-crushing bite strength, the traps actually proved to be quite a match for the grizzlies. The Peli cases themselves remained unscathed, but the due to he hole that had been created for the lens, the camera was flooded. Thankfully, the memory cards were salvageable, giving Ronan some amazing footage of the bear bathtub.

If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of the bear bathtub and Baloo or Yogi discover your case, then fret not, because as long as it hasn’t been modified beforehand, it will still be covered under our legendary Lifetime Guarantee. “If Baloo breaks it, we replace it. Forever”.

Ronan Image © National Geographic