Syrian Brown Bear, Bruiser Bear, has fallen in love with the pool at Single Vision Wildlife Sanctuary in Florida. Brown Bears are salmon fishers, so they are naturally very comfortable in water and can swim well. Certainly the best part of Bruiser Bear's romp in the water is his playfulness, as evidenced by his adorable belly-flop entrance into the pool; it's amazing to see the gentler more light-hearted side of this giant hunter.
Even though Bruiser Bear might look big in this video, he's still pretty young at just 18-months-old; a brown bear's average lifespan in the wild is 25 years. When full grown, most brown bears are around 700 pounds and average between 5-8 feet tall, though size tends to vary from region to region. Brown bears are the most widely distributed bear in the world, found in North America, Europe and Asia.
While many people assume bears are vicious carnivores because they are top-of-the-food chain predators, they are actually omnivores with a diet that also consists of fruits, nuts, berries, leaves and roots. When a brown bear is in the mood for meat, however, it becomes a fearsome and highly skilled hunter. Even despite their huge size, brown bears have been recorded to run as fast as 30 miles per hour which is crucial in their ability to catch and take down large, quick prey like moose. Don't be fooled by Bruiser Bear's laid-back pool romping, this little guy can move significantly faster than humans can.
The Single Vision Wildlife Sanctuary is a remarkable home for young Bruiser Bear, thanks to the owner and animal care specialist Carl Bovard. On the Single Vision website, Bovard explains that he suddenly lost his sight in an accident thirteen years ago, and he was left wondering what it was he would miss seeing most. Memories of his grandfather's farm flooded into his mind, but he realized that what he would miss most would be the animals. Gradually his sight returned in one eye (Single Vision - get it?), and he decided he would dedicate the rest of his life to saving and caring for animals. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in animal biology and went on to study animal behavior first at Sea World and then at Jungleland Zoo. When he opened Single Vision Wildlife Sanctuary, he did so in honor of his grandfather, Eugene Wieler, whom he says is responsible for teaching Bovard to love and respect all animals.
It's clear from the way Bovard interacts with all of his animals that his heart is in all the right places; he genuinely loves these animals and provides them with the best life possible. Bovard constantly posts updates on the Single Vision Wildlife Sanctuary page of his interactions with the animals at the sanctuary, including these spectacular photos of him playing with Bruiser Bear and Honey Bear, an 18-month-old North American Black Bear.