Watch: Black Bear Swims in the Ocean with Unconcerned Beachgoers

"Wow, I guess he's on vacation too"
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bear at the beach
A black bear went for a swim at a crowded beach on the Gulf. cbcpa79, via Twitter

It’s already hot in Florida, and recent video footage from the Gulf Coast shows that humans aren’t the only mammals hitting the beach. A video shared to Twitter on June 11 shows a young black bear playing in the waves at a beach near Destin. Hundreds of onlookers watch as the bruin swims ashore and runs across the crowded white sand.

A second video that was filmed by another beachgoer that day and later shared on social media by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission shows the juvenile black bear swimming in the deeper, emerald waters of the Gulf before it reaches the crowded beach.

“Wow. I guess he’s on vacation too,” one onlooker says during the short, 30-second clip.

FWC officials explained that while it was certainly an unusual sight, this is not the first time black bears have been seen on Florida beaches or swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Swimming is something that black bears are pretty good at!” reads the agency’s post. “It actually isn’t unusual to hear of black bears swimming in the Gulf, on their way to barrier islands in search of food.”

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The agency added that many of the state’s juvenile bears (1.5 to 2.5 years old) are just now leaving their mothers for the first time as they search for new home ranges of their own. This helps explain why they “sometimes [end] up in unexpected places like a city park or a crowded beach.”

The best thing to do if you spot a black bear at the beach (or anywhere else for that matter) is to give it plenty of space and never try to approach or feed it, FWC advises.