A Dip in the Pool

Top Photo: Mimi Bear swims in upper pool at Main Black Bear Overlook.

If you know our black bears, you know that Mimi is the one who likes a little dip in the pool more than any of the others, though lately Little Bear is giving Mimi a run for the money. But regardless of the two bears’ mutual fondness for water, Mimi prefers to swim alone, all by herself.

Under waterfall.

Little Bear tends to annoy the adult female bears in the enclosure, Mimi and Yona. Black bears by nature are solitary and except for mating and family time they prefer to go it alone. The exception seems to be Gus who appears to enjoy Little Bear’s company.


Mimi will sometimes start out in the shallow upper pool, just below the waterfall, since she can exit the water in just about any direction should she be disturbed. There are no obstacles in the way of a quick retreat.

If the coast is clear and no other bears are around she may slip down into the lower pool (moat) where the water’s deeper and she can take full, serious strokes. However, there’s only one way in and out of the moat. If one of the other bears comes along, like Little Bear, Mimi’s trapped. She takes care to scope out the area before entering the moat, a quick look this way and a quick look that way, to see if there’s anyone else around.

A look to the left…
And a look to the right.
Except for Gus sleeping under a tree (right), there’s no one else in sight.

All’s clear. Mimi heads into the moat for a quiet, meaningful swim.

Mimi slips into moat.
Now she can do some real paddling.

A perfect way to spend a hot summer’s day.


Our black bears, oldest first:

Mimi,    2004

Gus,     2006

Yona,   2009

Little,   2021

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