As the zookeepers started to refill the pool they couldn’t get the bubbles to go down. They allowed the bear to explore it.
Who doesn't enjoy a long, relaxing bubble bath on a long lethargic summer afternoon? You might be an exception if you say you don't but Finn the ten-year-old black bear isn't. On a scorching August afternoon, visitors to Zoo Knoxville might have intruded on Finn's privacy while he was having a frothy bubble bath – his first-ever, according to the zoo's media manager Jonathan Jones. The bath, made with bear-safe dish soap, which is also used to bathe animals harmed by oil spills in the ocean, was "an unplanned event," according to Jones. "Our zookeepers were cleaning the pools while the bears were off of the exhibit," while sharing with PEOPLE about the zoo's bears, 21-year-old Ursula, 11-year-old Monty and 10-year-old Finn.
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He told the Independent about Finn's bath, "As the zookeepers started to refill the pool they couldn’t get the bubbles to go down. They allowed the bears to explore it and see what they thought. Finn is the one that really took an interest. This was his first ‘bubble bath’ and he really seemed to enjoy it." The Tennessee Zoo also captured the moment on camera. The video shows Finn frolicking and diving about in sudsy water in his habitat, while zoogoers look on with smiles.
The clip of the creature enjoying the soapy treatment quickly went viral on Zoo Knoxville's Facebook page. The video clip received 85k views and was captioned, "Remember being a kid and getting to play in the bubble bath? Well, it's just as fun for Finn, our 10 yr old black bear! It's hard to tell that he's around 450 lbs as he splashes around." In the endearing video, zoogoers of all ages can be seen enjoying and smiling as the black bear covers himself in suds. Finn's face is completely buried beneath the bubbles at one moment.
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There is hope for more bear baths at Zoo Knoxville in the future, according to Jones. He says that the zoo is "currently looking into making it more of a permanent event" — and even looking into other animals that "would enjoy this type of enrichment." Viewers found the sight adorably amusing. "We were there!!! He was so funny," commented @Heather Reel.
Finn definitely gained some fans. People on Instagram were also in awe of this rare site. "So much fun for all watching and him playing. Thank you," wrote @chapman_1231. "Bet that feels great in the heat!" added @parkermom13.
We get the idea that bears love making the news. One zoo found itself in an unusual quandary when it had to establish that the creatures it housed were, in fact, animals and not people dressed up as animals. After a video of one of its bears standing like a human went popular on social media, an eastern Chinese zoo disputed that its bears are humans in costumes. The video of the bear rising and mingling with people went viral after a 15-second clip was shared on Douyin, the Chinese counterpart of TikTok.
Footage of a Malayan sun bear standing on its hind legs aroused debate on the Chinese internet, but the zoo in Zhejiang's eastern region confirmed it was a bear, but smaller and different from what we're used to seeing. Based on its behavior and visible folds of fur on its body, which resembles a human wearing ill-fitting clothing, some wondered if the bear was a human in disguise. Such speculation, according to an expert, is unwarranted. The animal in the video is "definitely a sun bear," says Wong Siew Te, a wildlife biologist and the founder of Malaysia's Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. He has been researching the animal for around 25 years.