Viral videos show black bear swimming among Florida beachgoers

A young black bear has become an online sensation after it was caught on video enjoying some weekend surf and sun. 

Beachgoers in Destin, Florida raced to social media on Sunday to share images of the furrier-than-usual swimmer cooling off in the Gulf of Mexico. Videos show the bear floating leisurely in the waves before turning to swim back toward the shore, eventually reaching the sand near a group of onlookers.

Seemingly startled by the growing attention, the bear can be seen weaving past umbrellas and chairs to make a quick escape up the beach. 

Bear sightings common

While the bear may not have been “on vacation,” as one onlooker can be heard suggesting, it is not uncommon for Floridians and communities across the U.S. to catch sight of bears on their beaches, at favorite hangout spots or in their own backyards. 

Thanks to human encroachment on their habitat, the estimated 300,000 plus black bears that call the U.S. home have been increasingly caught snooping around in human-dense areas, even breaking into homes out of curiosity or in search of easy food.

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