— -- It looks like this bear just couldn't *bear* the heat!
This black bear was caught cooling off in a kiddie pool filled with water in the backyard of a home in Duluth, Minnesota, this past Monday.
David Zbaracki, 33, told ABC News today he snapped this photo from behind his kitchen window after the impressive animal caught his eye just before he and his family were going to go out to run errands.
"I kind of did a double take," Zbaracki said. He explained that at first, he thought the black bear was his dog Gipper -- a 125-pound Newfoundland dog who also happens to be "big, black and furry just like a bear."
But it turned out that Gipper was actually inside the kitchen whining at the black bear outside.
"I came over to the window, looked at the bear, snapped photos and got a good laugh," Zbaracki said.
Zbaracki added that a storm had recently passed, and crews were in the area restoring power at the time, so he did go out to make sure they were aware there was a bear out of precaution.
But the crews and Zbaracki weren't that worried, he said.
"Duluth is very much on the shores of Lake Superior, and there's a whole bunch of green space," Zbaracki said. "It's kind of a like an urban wilderness, so people here are pretty used to encounters with wildlife. We see a lot of deer and other animals, and though bears aren't quite as common, we know they are around."
By the time Zbaracki came back to his home after going out to alert crews, the bear had already left, he said. He added that "the bear couldn't have been there for more than 15 minutes."
"I guess he just wanted to cool off, so we left him alone," Zbaracki wrote on the caption of a photo of the bear he posted to Facebook, which had over 1,100 shares as of this morning.
Black bears in the Duluth, Minnesota, area "aren't something to be afraid of but certainly something to be cautious about," according to Martha Minchak, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources assistant area wildlife manager for the Duluth area.
Minchak told ABC News today that black bears, which are pretty "mellow" compared to other species of bears, have resided in the Duluth area "for a long time" and are "unique" in that they've "grown up around people."
"Because of this, a lot of them now associate people with food and get comfortable going near residences, where they often knock over trash cans rummaging for food," she said. "Duluth probably has more calls about nuisance bears than any other place in the state -- and maybe the whole Midwest."
However, Minchak said people should not encourage letting bears get comfortable around people and residences.
"Let these bears know they aren't welcome around our homes and backyards by making loud noises to chase them off," she said, adding that banging pots and pans or blowing an air horn were effective ways to scare black bears off.
"Even waving your arms and yelling generally does the trick," Minchak said.
Black bears rarely get aggressive, and even if they do, it's highly unlikely that they would run or pounce at you if you try to scare them off, according to Minchak.
"If they do get aggressive, they might start trying to approach you or snap their jaws at you," she said. "They can also growl sometimes."
If this happens, Minchak said you should just "back away slowly while waving your arms and making noise." She added you should "try to make yourself appear as large as you can, while retreating back into your house, or car or building. You should stand your ground with them and never try to turn and run."
There has never been any serious incident involving black bears in Duluth, Minchak said. She added that the "main thing folks should know is that they shouldn't be scared of black bears, but they should still use common sense and instill this knowledge in our kids."