Scrub-a-dub-dub three bears in a tub. Not quite the nursery rhyme I remember, but it works.

Welcome to the "bear bathtub", a natural swimming hole in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. And, you guessed it, the spot gets its name from the cohort of grizzly bears who frequent its waters to freshen up, cool off and get an oh-so-satisfying drink under the hot sun.  

To get a better understanding of exactly how local bears use the hole, National Geographic set up some camera traps to monitor their behaviour. Of course, the cameras didn't exactly go unnoticed. More than one curious bear decided to investigate – and you can’t really blame them for being suspicious of someone or something watching them take a bath.  

Park researchers discovered the pool several years ago while retrieving a radio collar that had slipped off a grizzly in the park. In addition to having a soak, the bears also scent-marked along the edge of the pool, leading scientists to believe the small watering hole acts as something of a bear bulletin board.

With the latest incarnation of Disney's "The Jungle Book" just hitting theatres, it's hard to watch this clip without thinking of Baloo. For the Yellowstone bears, this bathtub is certainly a "bare necessity!"


Top header image: Doug Brown/Flickr