Florida beachgoers shocked when bear emerges from Gulf of Mexico

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June 12 (UPI) -- Visitors to a Florida beach were in for a surprise when a black bear was spotted swimming side-by-side with their fellow beachgoers.

Multiple visitors to the crowded beach in Destin captured video when the bear emerged from the ocean and swam next to human beachgoers before making its way to shore.


"The bear was out pretty far," Chris Barron, who recorded footage of the bear, told WTVT-TV. "A lot of people started swimming in. I was worried it was a shark. I walked over and thought it was a dog."

Barron said the bear was swimming right by his brother and 12-year-old son.

"At this point I realized it was a bear and started videoing. It kept swimming in. He got to shore, shook off, and ran into the brush in the sand dunes," Barron said. "I think most people were shocked instead of being scared. No one expected to see a bear in the Gulf of Mexico."

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