It all started with a radio collar that slipped off the neck of a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park about ten years ago.

Park researchers performed an air search over a portion of the back country and were able to pinpoint the approximate location of the collar and soon got to work collecting the misplaced radio collar.  What researchers found was a four by ten foot water hole, measuring roughly three feet in depth and featuring four very well-worn game trails leading to it.

The game trails were not those made by deer, elk or other ungulates stopping in for a drink on a hot summers day, rather, the trails were worn down with the prints of grizzly and black bears.

The radio collar sat beneath the surface of the pool of water, buried in the muck.

Researchers wasted no time retrieving the collar with the help of a trekking pole and downloading the pertinent data it contained.

It wasn’t until years later that the inquisitive minds at National Geographic expressed an interest in devoting an upcoming issue of their magazine to Yellowstone National Park.  In addition to breathtaking and attention-grabbing imagery from around the park, National Geographic proposed placing a camera trap at the pool of water where the collar was retrieved some years prior.

Given the size of the pool of water, it aptly became known as the “bear bathtub”, as cameras captured stunning footage of both black bears and grizzly bears bathing, soaking, playing and marking their scent around the watering hole.

Watch the Footage Below: