Bear caught on video swimming in ocean at crowded Destin, Florida beach

Bear spotted in Gulf of Mexico on Sunday

Destin, Fla. – One of Florida’s native predators shocked beachgoers on Sunday as it swam up on the shore.

No, it wasn’t a shark. It was a bear.

Florida has had some infamous animal encounters, but even by Florida standards, this one is unusual.

The black bear splashed around in the gulf and drifted to shore, eventually making it to the beach where he shook off his fur and ran off.

“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.”

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there are about 4,000 black bears in the state.

“Bears roam forests and swamps from Eglin Air Force Base in the Panhandle to Ocala National Forest in the state’s midsection to Big Cypress National Preserve in Southwest Florida,” the FWC website states.

Several people captured videos of the bear encounter. You can watch some of them in the video player at the top of this article.

About the Author

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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