A Bear Swimming at the beach in Destin? Yup!
Hello, Emerald Coast Insiders! We’ve got a tale to tell that’s sure to make a splash. Picture this: a sunny day on the beautiful beaches of Destin, Florida.
The waves are gently lapping at the shore, beachgoers are soaking up the sun, and suddenly, a surprise guest decides to join the party. No, it’s not a shark. It’s a bear!
That’s right, folks! This past Sunday, beachgoers were in for a shock as one of Florida’s native predators decided to take a dip in the ocean.
But don’t worry, it wasn’t the toothy grin of a shark that emerged from the water, but the furry face of a black bear!
This is NOT Common
Now, we’ve all heard of some infamous animal encounters in Florida (we’re looking at you, alligators), but even by Florida standards, this one is unusual.
The black bear was spotted splashing around in the gulf, seemingly enjoying the cool water on a hot day.
After a refreshing swim, the bear drifted to shore, shook off its fur in a spray of salty water, and ran off, leaving behind a beach full of stunned sunbathers.
“We had been watching him several minutes come in from out pretty far,” beachgoer Chris Barron told CNN. “Most people didn’t realize it was a bear.”
Bears in Destin FL
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Sunshine State is home to approximately 4,000 black bears.
These creatures typically roam the forests and swamps, from Eglin Air Force Base in the Panhandle, through the Ocala National Forest in the state’s midsection, and down to the Big Cypress National Preserve in Southwest Florida.
These areas provide the perfect habitat for black bears, offering ample food sources and cover.
The diet of a Florida black bear is diverse, including fruits, nuts, insects, and small mammals. They also have a penchant for honey and will go to great lengths to raid beehives.
However, every so often, a bear decides to venture out of its usual stomping grounds. Such was the case with our swimming friend in Destin.
While it’s not common for bears to be seen on the beach, it’s not unheard of either.
Bears are excellent swimmers, and they may venture into the water in search of food or simply to cool off on a hot day.
Bear Swimming in Destin FL Video
What To Do When You Encounter a Bear
It’s important to remember that while these encounters can be exciting, they should also be a reminder to respect these animals and their space.
The BearWise program offers some excellent tips on how to behave during a bear encounter. These include speaking calmly and firmly, avoiding direct eye contact, and slowly backing away.
So, while we enjoy the beautiful beaches and stunning wildlife of Florida, let’s remember to live harmoniously with our furry friends. After all, they were here first!
Several people managed to capture videos of this beary surprising encounter. You can check out some of them here.
So, next time you’re enjoying a day on the beautiful beaches of Destin, keep your eyes peeled.
You never know who might decide to join you for a swim! Until then, stay safe and enjoy all the wonders the Emerald Coast offers.