Burbank police officers responded to a report of an unusual trespasser Friday afternoon.
Around 3:30 p.m., officers responded to the 1300 block of Paseo Redondo in the Verdugo foothills for a report of a black bear taking a dip in a backyard jacuzzi.
Officers found the bear beating the heat by splashing around in the backyard hot tub of one of the neighborhood homes. Shortly after they arrived on scene, the bear scaled a wall and climbed a tree near the back of the same residence.
“I was upstairs and I heard a lot of commotion and some beeping sounds,” recalls homeowner Diana Lewis. “And here he was, just having fun in the jacuzzi. Very happy.”
The beeping sound was coming from local police using a bear tracker to locate the furry guest. As officers arrived, the bear decided it was time to end his refreshing soak.
“The bear left,” Lewis said. “He went over the fence and all around the yard and went down that backside across the lower yard and up the tree.”
The bear remained in the tree for several hours and was being closely monitored by the Burbank Police Department, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Burbank Animal Shelter. It later came down from the tree and went off into the Verdugo Mountain area without further incident.
It’s the second time this week some black bears were seen splashing around in a backyard hot tub. On Wednesday, a female bear and her cub were seen playing in a jacuzzi in La Cañada Flintridge.
“We’re all used to a lot of wildlife out here,” Lewis said. “We have deer, really, we have a lot of wildlife and people enjoy seeing it.”
Officials are warning the public that bears, however cute they may appear, should never be fed or approached.
“I said, ‘Can’t we just leave him there and let him cool off?'” recalled Lewis. “And they said, ‘Oh no. Not a good idea. We don’t want him getting used to this.’ So I get it. We have to respect them and try to keep them safe and this isn’t a safe area for a bear.”
As temperatures continue to soar, wildlife officials say bear encounters are more likely to occur.
To reduce the likelihood of having a bad encounter with a bear, the National Park Service has a list of tips and tricks to avoid encounters, as well as what to do if you come face-to-face with one of the apex predators.
Some of those tips include talking calmly to the bear so it knows you’re human and not prey, getting as big as possible and remaining calm. You should never run from a bear, climb a tree to escape the bear or allow the bear to eat your food.
For more tips, including when to play dead and when to fight back, click here.