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Watch: Bear family takes dip in N.J. family's pool

Emily Babay

Updated: Friday, August 21, 2015, 8:39 PM

A bear family takes a swim in a North Jersey backyard pool. (Screenshot from YouTube video posted by Tim Basso)

A backyard pool, swing set and water toys in New Jersey had a new family using them this week -- a family of bears.

A North Jersey family filmed the mother bear and her five cubs taking a dip in their pool, and playing on a slide and swing set, earlier this week.

The video, which the Rockaway Township family posted online, captures the bear family swimming, tumbling in and out of the pool, dragging around toys and flotation devices, and climbing on a slide and swing set in their yard.

The bears ended up staying in the yard for about an hour, Tim Basso told News 12 New Jersey.

"I thought they would get a drink and move on, but they stayed," Basso told the news station. He described the event as "anything but normal."

The family watched the bears from the safety of their own home.

In the video, a child can be heard crying as the mother and cubs destroy some of the family's toys.

"This is a hazard of owning a pool in this area," a parent tries to explain.

The family had its yard taken over by an especially large bear family.

A litter of five cubs is on the high end, said Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

"It's not unheard of, but it's not common," he said. Hajna said litters for black bears in New Jersey average two or three cubs, and he wasn't aware of any larger than five.

The Rockaway family appears to have done the right thing by staying inside, he said. People should not approach bears, especially a mother who is with her cubs.

"They're having fun and they're playful, but the mama bear is watching very carefully," Hajna said.

Emily Babay

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