[Video] Black Bear Enjoys a Day at the Beach in Destin

You know it’s hot when you see a Black Bear enjoying the cool water of the Gulf of Mexico.

In sight, you don’t see very often, one of Florida’s native predators shocked beachgoers on Sunday as it swam up on the shore.

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The Sunshine State has some dangerous animals in its waters, but even by Florida standards, this one is unusual.

The black bear splashed around in the gulf, and eventually, the waves brought him back to shore. After making it to the beach, 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.”

Black Bear at Destin Beach

While it was undoubtedly a surprise for many families to see a bear that close to them, Wildlife experts say beachgoers may have gotten too close for their own good.

Wildlife experts told WEAR News surrounding the bear and snapping photos was maybe not the safest idea for everyone involved.

The sight of the black bear splashing and bobbing through the waves quickly drew people in.

You can see in the video people inched closer and closer as the animal took a dip and then scampered off.

“We always tell people, keep your distance; it’s really cool seeing animals out in the wild, but definitely keep your distance,” Kennady Brinkley, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge stranding coordinator said.

Brinkley understands the fascination but cautions about getting too close to wild animals.

“I was definitely very concerned for the bear,” Brinkley said. “People were corralling the animal, getting very close to it. It’s a wild animal. You don’t know how it’s going to interact with you. Even if it’s a young animal versus an adult, you don’t know how they’re going to act. So, we just always tell people to keep their distance.”

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

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