The HRCA Backcountry Wilderness Area recently released some photos of bears splashing around in water tubs specifically designed for wildlife. These water tubs aren’t just for bears, but also birds, squirrels, raccoons, porcupines, hawks, falcons, eagles, and more. Well, it turns out bears and humans have a lot more in common than we originally thought!
The HRCA shared some photos on their Facebook page, showing the bears taking a dip in the water tubs and doing the iconic Dirty Dancing lift. You know which one.
Family of bears actually do the ‘Dirty Dancing’ lift and it’s definitely a sight to see!
Basically identical to the original one, no?
The wildlife center took dozens of photos to post to their Facebook and people seem to love them!
“Habitat = space/shelter + food + water. Water is the limiting factor in the Backcountry as there are no natural water sources. There are some ponds created in the previous 100 years by the previous ranchers, but those are typically dry by July in a normal year,” they write in their Facebook post.
“Centennial Water owns wells in the Backcountry that can provide ground water to our community as a supplement to Highlands Ranch’s surface water rights. Ten of those wells are equipped with yard hydrants that allow us to fill stock tanks from April-October. We work closely with Centennial Water to make that happen. The Backcountry Wilderness Area also owns two wells with electricity that we can put tank heaters in through the winter months to keep two water sources available through the colder months.”
The importance of these water tubs for wildlife
“Over the past four years, we have added 14 more 1,000-gallon tanks in strategic areas throughout the property to improve habitat. These tanks are funded by the $14 the Backcountry Wilderness Area receives annually from each Highlands Ranch household’s HOA dues. (Yes, that is correct, the conservation, trail management, and all of the programs we offer only cost $14/household/year).”
“Then, we use a 1,000-gallon water trailer to refill the tanks about every three weeks in the summer and less in the spring and fall. The staff used to refill the tanks is funded by additional support through our 501c3 nonprofit, the Backcountry Conservation & Education Fund. As the support grows for our nonprofit, we hope to add more water resources and habitat improvements.”
They continue, “As we’ve added water resources and improved habitat, we have noticed a plethora of changes in wildlife behavior, patterns, use of certain areas, and more positive impacts— ESPECIALLY in years like 2020, where many traditional water resources throughout the surrounding area do not exist due to the severe drought we are experiencing. That is one reason why we are seeing more bears than ever this year at our water tanks. We like to think by making the Backcountry a happy home, they are less likely to wander into neighborhoods. Good for us and good for the bears.”
Aren’t these photos adorable? You can see more of them on their official Facebook page.