Black Bear Causes Stir Among Beachgoers As It Swims Ashore On Beach In Destin, Florida

black bear nature
Jennifer Majors Smith/Facebook

As if sharks aren’t enough to worry about when you’re trying to enjoy a day at the beach…

Vacationers in Destin, Florida got quite the surprise today when a black bear was spotted swimming towards the shore before walking out of the water onto the beach.

The bear appeared to be a young cub, and while some beachgoers scattered (probably thinking it was a shark before realizing what was really going on), others calmly walked beside the little guy as he exited the water.

Once on land, the bear ran towards the dunes at the edge of the beach looking for safety before eventually disappearing.

According to beachgoer Jennifer Majors Smith, the bear seemed exhausted from its day at the beach by the time it made it to shore:

“At first no one on shore could tell what it was in the ocean. A man was yelling out ‘Bear!’ You would expect “shark or dolphin” but not bear. It came out of the Gulf and look tired but relieved.

Of course, my animal loving son started following it, so my mother-in-law grabbed him. We were all shocked by and amazed to see what we saw. We were all glad to see him safe from the water. We all enjoy a dip in the water, but who knows how long he was in there.”

And while a black bear swimming around in the Gulf of Mexico may be an unexpected sight, according to Destin charter boat captain Chris Kirby, it’s not entirely uncommon:

“It’s not uncommon. There are a lot of bears at Eglin Air Force Base. They swim across the bay. Sometimes they go for a joy swim.”

Kirby says that he grew up seeing bears swimming around in the Gulf, but that now everybody has cell phones to capture the unexpected creatures when it occurs.

Black bears are also known for being strong swimmers, who often enter water in search of fish while searching for food.

And sometimes, maybe they just want a relaxing day at the beach like the rest of us.

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Beach Fishermen Reel In Half-Ton Hammerhead Shark

Yep, this is why I am becoming more and more hesitant to swim out on in the ocean when I visit the beach.

I always see anglers set up on the beach with lines way out in the ocean, but I’ve never seen anyone really reel in anything substantial. I’ve actually just thought that it was a way to get out of the house and still seem somewhat productive to their significant others.

These two fishermen, Glenn Laskowski and his friend who goes by the name JR, were fishing on the South Texas coast when they reeled in this monster hammerhead shark. The experienced pair used a 20 pound cow-nose stingray as bait, along with other heavy duty bait equipment.

After battling to bring it in, they finally got the massive shark to shore, and though they tried their best to get it back into the water, the hammerhead shark died on the beach. Glenn and JR then transported the shark to the local pier to get it weighed and measured, and the results might surprise you.

Their catch ended up measuring at right around 14 feet and 4 inches and weighed in at 1,058 pounds, just barely passing the half-ton threshold (though I think it would’ve been okay to unofficially round up).

Laskowski talked to the local news station (KIII-TV News) in Corpus Christi about the battle that it took to bring in the hammerhead:

“It was a battle back and forth for almost an hour and 30 minutes. We finally were able to land the fish and get to see the true size of the monster.

We quickly de-hooked the fish, and got some quick pictures then went to release the fish. Unfortunately, the fish didn’t wanna swim off due to its size and long fight in over all the sandbars.”

The shark unfortunately did not make it, even though the two fishermen did their best to revive the beast in one of the videos in the Facebook post below.

They eventually gave away all of the shark meat, only leaving the impressive pictures to help Laskowski and JR to tell their “fish was this big” stories. Glenn actually took to Facebook to explain a little bit more about the endeavor and share pictures and videos of the unbelievably large hammerhead shark.

Laskowski said in the post:

“Before anyone asks questions, yes the heat was put on the fish. Lots of drag was out on it. Don’t really care what anyone has to say about fighting and landing these fish. Until you hook up to a fish of this size and can successfully release on Corpus beaches, then you can whisper in my ear.

We honestly gave it hell and did our best to let her go, but after a long battle back and forth, unfortunately she didn’t make it. Me and my partner JR were blessed to see a fish like this along with all the family and people on the third coast.

And you’re damn right we had to get a good-ass kill picture with the beast.”

A half-ton shark was just swimming around out there, yet the beach is still one of the best places to go and relax during the summer?

If I ever visit the South Texas coast, I’ll make sure to stay up on the beach with a good book instead of diving into the half-ton shark infested waters.

Alligator Spotted Riding Waves At The Beach

Well that’s not supposed to be there…

Tourists and beachgoers got quite the scare when they spotted a large alligator riding the ocean waves off the coast of Alabama recently. Facebook user Matt Harvill took photos and videos of the strange alligator encounter and the his post has now gone viral.

Alligators are the United States’ largest reptiles and are known to grow to be over 1,000 pounds and reach lengths as long as 15 feet. They are also not usually found in saltwater, which is why this video is all the more shocking.

Harvill can be heard in one of the videos describing the experience in a rather unique way:

“Tell me whenever you can go to the beach and the f***ing zoo at the same time. I’d be impressed.”

I guess I can’t argue with you there Matt. As much as I do love both beaches and zoos, I do tend to like them as separate experiences, so I understand where Harvill is coming from there.

In this video below, the alligator can be seen floating in the shallow water of the waves crashing up against the shore. I really hope that it had just previously body-surfed its way to this position, but I cannot confirm that took place (though I can’t deny it either).

As Harvill walks towards the alligator floating in the push and pull of the tide, one beachgoer can be heard telling Matt to be careful and questioning how fast the alligator could be.

Harvill gives off big “first person to die in a horror movie” vibes when he laughs and shouts back:

“Not faster than me.”

Luckily those aren’t Matt’s famous last words as he continues to approach the alligator as waves crash across its reptilian head.

I know it might seem like it is a mistake that this gator got to the beach, but this video above makes it look like the alligator knows exactly what its doing. Give that thing a beer and a sunhat and it would be living that salt life, you know what I’m saying?

Harvill told WBRC that the alligator seemed curious more than anything else, and explained how he came to snap the shocking pictures and videos of the gator’s beach day:

“It was just a very beautiful day, my girlfriend and I were just spending some time on the beach when someone mentioned it. So, we walked down to get a better look and snap some pictures. 

It’s not everyday something like that happens. We see them in Dog River and the Bird sanctuary. Almost never in the Gulf like that. I knew if I didn’t get pictures no one would ever believe it.”

Harvill is right. There’s a good chance that no one would have believed him considering that gators tend to prefer freshwater ecosystems like marshes and rivers.

There’s a chance that the alligator had wandered out to the beach to in search of food since its not uncommon for the large reptiles to seek out marine wildlife to munch on. If it did end up eating before he got into the water, hopefully it followed the old unwritten rule and waited for 30 minutes so it didn’t get a stomach ache.

If this were a crocodile with its “toes in the water and ass in the sand,” that would make a lot more sense. Crocs have saltwater glands that act as salinity regulators underneath their tongues, whereas alligators do not.

Crocodiles have the option of living in saltwater or freshwater, whereas their alligator counterparts live in fresh water and can stand saltwater for shorter periods of time.

Regardless of whether or not the alligator was supposed to be there, Matt Harvill’s pictures and videos proved that the encounter occurred. His post on Sunday elaborated on just how crazy the sighting was:

“The things you never think you’ll see. First time seeing a gator on Dauphin Island.

Heading towards the west end be careful y’all.”

I love the beach, but I would be saying “see ya later, alligator” to this one in particular.

I’ve already got enough to worry about with sharks, stingrays, and jellyfish in the water, so mark Dauphin Island off the list of potential vacation spots…

And while we are at it, some of the comments below the post were pretty entertaining as well:

“Looks like he’s just enjoying the peaceful waves like I do when I go to the beach. I wouldn’t want to share the space with him, though.”

“He’s having a beach day.”

“Looks like he is surfing.”

“The way he enjoying the waves tho.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock