By Emma Ockerman
August 4, 2016

A family of bears took a break from the heat last week to cool off in the waters of Lake Tahoe, while a crowd of beachgoers watched.

A witness to the event captured the three bears on video, showing what appears to be a mother bear with two cubs resting in the water. Two kayakers nearby watched as the bears exited the lake back on to the crowded sandy shore at Pope Beach. They soon retreated to a woody area, but not without stopping at a picnic table first to sniff around, as seen in another video uploaded by the same user.

The cellphone video, shared by NBC affiliate KCRA on its Facebook page Tuesday, has more than 8 million views. There are 250 to 300 wild black bears living in the Lake Tahoe region, the station reports.

Because of the ongoing California drought, the streams that bears usually frequent have dried up, Jason Holley, a supervising wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told KCRA.

“They’ll really rely on the lake more heavily during times of drought,” Holley said.

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