Denver Zoo grizzly bear chilling in a swimming pool is all of us during a heat wave

Like her name, Tundra prefers to keep things cool.

The Denver Zoo posted a video of its resident grizzly bear chilling in a pool as temperature soar toward the 90s F (30s C) this week.

“Looks like Tundra’s living her best hot bear summer!” the zoo posted on social media Monday. “Our grizzly girl loves splashing around in streams to cool off, which is great, because this a natural behavior.”

Tundra came to the zoo more than 16 years ago after her mother was euthanized because she came into conflict with people.

But just last month, Tundra lost her companion, Kootenai, after spending her entire life at the zoo with him.


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We are deeply saddened to share that Kootenai, our 17-year-old male grizzly bear, was humanely euthanized yesterday following a struggle with significant arthritis and other health issues. Our animal care and health teams treated his ailments tirelessly for many years until his condition advanced to a point where medical therapy was no longer enough to keep him comfortable. He also started showing signs of other declines in his quality of life, including not eating or voluntarily taking medication, and difficulty walking. Kootenai quickly became a staff and guest favorite when he arrived at Denver Zoo as a 6-month-old cub in 2002 after he was found starving and abandoned in Montana by U.S. Fish and Wildlife. He was hand-reared in our hospital nursery until he reached 50 pounds, then was placed in Bear Mountain. Within six months, he was joined by Tundra, who needed a home after her mother was euthanized because of coming into conflict with humans. Tundra and Kootenai were companions for more than 16 years, and recently moved to their new habitat, Harmony Hill. According to his caretakers, Kootenai was a “big, loveable lug of a bear, who will be dearly missed by everyone, especially those who were lucky enough to have taken care of him.” Indeed, Kootenai was an incredible, special animal, and his death is a loss for staff, volunteers and guests. We encourage you to pay tribute to Kootenai by visiting Harmony Hill to learn more about his and Tundra’s rescue stories, and learn how to better coexist with bears and other wildlife.

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The 17-year-old male grizzly bear was humanely euthanized due to serious health issues including “significant arthritis,” which caused difficulty walking and trouble eating on his own.

Which is why it makes everyone so happy to see Tundra so happy.

“Our animal care staff has worked extensively to help her adjust to her new routine, and keep her engaged and active, and as a result, she’s doing great,” the zoo explained.

Photo Denver Zoo/Twitter

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