(WVLT) -- Relaxation and fun: two reasons people use hot tubs, but why do bears use them?
You may have seen some viral images of bears chilling in hot tubs on the internet and social media.
While people may think the images are cute or funny, supervisory wildlife biologist for the National Park Service Ben Stiver said it can be a dangerous sign for the bears. "Unfortunately, people find that amusing, but it's the wrong message. We shouldn't have bears in our hot tubs. They shouldn't be in our community. They should be afraid of us."
Stiver said the reason bears may gravitate towards hot tubs are because of the plastics in the tub. "Bears seem to be attracted to plastics, and they chew on plastic water bottles...for whatever reason they like to chew on plastic rubbery things."
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said they aren't entirely sure why bears appear to like being in hot tubs, but did say it could be due to insects. "It may help alleviate problems with insects such as ticks and fleas," however, TWRA said that's merely a guess on their part.
For more information on how to cohabitate with bears, go here.