Summer is not even here yet, and the temperatures are already skyrocketing into the 90s in many parts of the United States. As humans, we are able to enjoy the air conditioning in our homes, businesses, and cars. However, the animals in our lives are reliant on us to keep cool during the days of high heat. The same holds true for the animals kept in the confines of our local zoos. Takoda the black bear at the Oregon Zoo is no exception.
Rather than allow the heat of the day to become an excuse to lie down and relax in the shade of his enclosure, Takoda decided to make the best of it and cool off in a large tub of water. The video, posted by the Oregon Zoo, quickly went viral as it made its way across social media, reaching over 2 million views in days.
According to Q13 FOX, Takoda was accepted into the Oregon Zoo in 2010 after a few too many encounters with humans. Rather than potentially endangering the people or the bear, the zoo chose to take him in and provide safety.
Metro shared the video, showing Takoda splashing carefree in the over-sized bath while playing with some balls that were floating in the water. Takoda’s play time reveals that he has immersed himself into the captivity of the zoo quite well, accepting the good life where he is safe and well cared for, in contrast to the dangers he faced in the wild while interacting with humans.
Takoda is 6-years-old and weighs nearly 400 pounds. He lives with three other bears in the enclosure, but seems to be the only one that took advantage of the 300-gallon tub on the hot day.
Philip Fensterer is the keeper at the Oregon Zoo and captured the video before sharing it to millions of people on the zoo’s Facebook page.
“The hot weather was starting to come on, and Takoda was just inspire. He was just cooling down and playing, having some fun.”
Takoda has been a favorite at the Oregon Zoo since he was adopted when he was only a cub. He was found orphaned in Montana. He was hungry and experiencing dehydration and weighed under 3 pounds. Interacting with humans at such a young age meant that his trust in people would not allow him to remain in the wild. As he grew, the potential danger of getting close to a human could put both him and the humans in great danger of being hurt or killed.
Accepting him into the zoo was a no-brainer, and he has thrived ever since in the enclosure with his three bear mates.
Takoda’s name means “friend to all” in the Sioux language, and that is exactly what he has become over the years. His crazy antics have placed him in many precarious situations, such as being propped on the top of a tall tree trunk, looking down at the visitors that come to see him. The bath tub incident is just the latest of his moments of grabbing the attention of zoo staff and guests.
The viral video’s mass viewing will hopefully bring attention to the Oregon Zoo and the conservation of animals in need, like the black bears of the United States.
— Buzz60 (@buzz60) June 7, 2016
Over the years, the black bears of the United States have lost their habitats due to deforestation and the construction of communities. However, recent years have seen a resurgence in their numbers.
If you would like to help support the Oregon Zoo, you can contact them at 503-226-1561.
[Image via Oregon Zoo]