Alabama: Bear Caught Swimming in Coastal Waters
A bear was spotted in the Gulf Coast this Sunday, swimming off a beach in Destin, Florida.
Anxious beachgoers often worry about shark attacks, but this weekend a bear was the predator to look out for.
The animal, identified as a black bear, was not seen entering the water, but was captured on video by several bystanders as it swam to shore.
This baffling occurrence may be more normal than it appears. According to Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, this area of Florida is designated as an area of "frequent" sightings for bears.
What's stranger about the situation is the bear's presence among so many weekend visitors. Bears are instinctively wary of humans, but this fear can dissipate if they find regular sources of food.
As the Humane Society says, "Each time this happens, [the bear] can become less fearful--and this habituation can lead to problems."
This bear, however, seems to have been fairly wary of humans. After crawling out of the water, it quickly ran away from the crowds gathered on the beach.
Although a funny sight, it would be best if this bear didn't return to the beach. The Humane Society states that bears who lose their fear of people may end up being killed, or trapped and moved far away.
Black bears like these also can be found in several Alabama counties, including Mobile County. So Alabama travelers may very well get their own bear sighting on their next trip to the beach.