Bear visitor captured on video by ex-pat Hartlepool man

1
Have your say

Press paws - this was the scene which met a Hartlepool ex-pat as he checked out the CCTV over his Californian pond.

Bob Bramley moved to the US in 1981 at the age of 23 to follow a career in the hi-tech software industry in Silicon Valley.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

Now retired, the 58-year-old and his wife Jane have settled in Oakhurst, a small mountain community just outside the Yosemite National Park.

He spotted something was up when he went to feed the fish in his koi pond, with several rocks out of place.

He was taken aback when he found it had been a bear bathing in the water as he checked video footage.

Bob said: “I like to put my trail camera out at night to see what animals come passing by.

Usually I see raccoons and deer but this is the first time I have captured a bear.

Bob Bramley

“Usually I see raccoons and deer but this is the first time I have captured a bear.
“The surprising thing is that he chose to bathe in my koi pond which is very close to my house, no more than 10ft from my front door.

“This was at around 10.20pm and I could very easily have stepped outside at that same time.

“The next morning I went to feed my fish when I noticed something was amiss - there were several rocks that had been moved and some of the pond equipment was disturbed.

“I then checked my camera to see what happened.

Bob Bramley moved over to America to work in the Silicon Valley.

Bob Bramley moved over to America to work in the Silicon Valley.

“This has received quite a bit of attention around here, not so much because a bear stopped by, which live around these parts, but because it was bathing in my pond and so close to the house.

“My fish were unscathed, I don’t think he ate any of them.
“Bears are creatures of habit so I am a bit concerned he may come back.”

The footage has been covered on the nigh news bulletin on the local news channel, gaining plenty of attention from residents.

Bob was born and raised in Hartlepool and lived in Owton Manor, and then Rift House.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

He went to Hartlepool Boys Tech and then to High Tunstall when it first opened.

He was working for a small engineering firm in Nottingham and they asked for people to transfer to the US when they opened a new office and said he “jumped at the chance”.

Bob and Jane, who is from the US, are parents to Andrew, 30, and David, 27.

He added: “I do miss England, especially the pub culture and the football.

“However, I do follow Hartlepool United and I am a member of a number of Hartlepool Facebook groups so that help me feel connected to the town.

“I have still have family in Hartlepool - my sister Shirley and brother-in-law John Garthwaite and my nephews John and David.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

“My step-dad Terry Gibson also lives in the town.”

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.

The bear taking a dip in Bob Bramley's pond.