Bear takes dip in Florida pool after busting through screen

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A Florida woman was surprised to discover that a bear had been breaking into her backyard and relaxing in the pool.

Karen Bockrath, of Naples, took to Facebook after discovering that the porch screen at her home in Golden Gate Estates had been ripped open. 


“When your ‘pet’ bear wants to put his paws in the pool but can’t open the screen door……” she wrote earlier this month.

In an interview with local station WBBH, she recalled that her pool deck would be wet and said she guessed that a bear who had hung around her backyard before was the prime suspect. 

A Golden Gate Estates homeowner has been spotting an unusual guest cooling off inside her swimming pool on hot days
(Courtesy– Karen Bockrath)

“I kind of figured it was the bear, but I couldn’t really catch him,” Bockrath said.

However, one day, Bockrath finally caught the furry culprit, taking pictures as he lounged and splashed on a ledge in the pool.

“Guess I’m having a pool party! Who knew!” she wrote in an April 25 post.

Now, she says, his visits are a frequent occurrence, making her a “little nervous at times.” 

Bockrath told WBBH that her 6-year-old grandson takes the pictures she snaps of her wild visitor to show-and-tell. 

“He takes them to show-and-tell and tells everyone this is my grandma’s pet bear,” she said.

Temperatures in Naples this week are in the high 80s and low 90s.


Bockrath told The Miami Herald that she has not yet alerted wildlife authorities about her guest.

“I’m really afraid they would euthanize him. The mom is still around. I live in an area that hasn’t been completely built up, lots of wooded area, lots of bears among other wild animals. My kids say I live in a zoo,” she said.

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