Beachgoers Didn’t Know a Black Bear Was Swimming With Them in Florida, Until It Ran Ashore
Over the last several decades, Florida beachgoers have seen more than lumps of seaweed wash up on their shores. From severed limbs, alligators and hundreds of yards of coastline covered in packs of Cuban coffee, it seemed like the sunshine state had seen it all. Or so they thought.
On June 12, swimmers in Destin realized a black bear cub was splashing its way into the shoreline around midday. A clip circling social media shows tourists trying to get their bearings as the cub floats around, swims to shore and emerges onto the sand.
The unbelievable sight has kicked off an un-bear-ably adorable response by social media users. Eyewitnesses and wildlife experts are weighing in.
Beachgoers were shocked when they realized a black bear was swimming among them
Several videos show the moment beachgoers realized a black bear cub was swimming with them in Destin, Florida.
One clip showed the cub swimming skillfully in the Florida Gulf Coast. In the background, a woman says, “We have a bear, how cool!”
Chris Barron, a beachgoer who was at the scene, told CNN “Most people didn’t realize it was a bear.” Adding that people on the crowded beach had been watching the bear for “several minutes come in from out pretty far.”
Another beachgoers, Jennifer Majors Smith, shared several videos on Meta, writing, “Never have I ever…seen a black bear swim up out of the Gulf Coast and onto the beach (and I’m originally from Pensacola).
Social media is roaring as they try to get their bearings on the clips circling the internet
On Twitter, users are equally shocked, jealous and concerned after seeing the videos of the black bear cub hanging out at the beach.
This user called Florida a “trifecta of trouble” after today’s news.
While another pondered how a lifeguard would have reacted upon realizing it was a black bear in the water.
Meanwhile, the bear puns are coming in hot.
But all joking aside, this user is just as dumbfounded as we are at the fact that black bears live in Florida.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time a bear has been spotted swimming in the Gulf of Mexico
Turns out that black bears are not as uncommon in Florida as one might think.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the black bear population has expanded since the 1980s. However, the expansion of the human population is encroaching on the bears’ natural habitat, which results in more encounters.
The FWC reports an estimate of 4,050 black bears currently living in Florida. Breeding season runs from June to August, and cubs are born in late January to early February. Maybe this little guy was doing some good ol’ teenage rebellion.
According to Chris Kirby, a charter boat captain, he has seen bears swimming in the Gulf often. He told AI.com “There are a lot of bears at Eglin Air Force Base. They swim across the bay. Sometimes they go in for a joy swim.”
Adding, “Everybody’s just got cellphones now and they get pictures.”
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