Black Bear Climbs Aboard Florida Sailboat: ‘We Were Kind of Blown Away’

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Forget hibernation — a Florida black bear decided to hit the high seas instead!

The curious bear was seen meandering around on a catamaran boat that was docked at the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club in Naples on Wednesday, per NBC2 News.

Todd Dillman, the owner of TowBoat U.S. Naples-Marco Island, was towing a barge back into the bay when he spotted the animal wandering around the area.

“We were kind of blown away that there was a bear in Royal Harbor,” he told NBC2 News.

After snapping a few photos and finishing his tow job, Dillman returned to the scene to find that the bear was now on a sailboat. Specifically, the creature was in the middle of the boat’s bar.

“I came back around and looked over, and he’s on the sailboat,” he told the outlet, adding that he took pictures and videos because “no one’s going to believe me if I tell them.”

Dillman said he watched the creature roam the boat for about an hour, during which time the bear was “just hanging out” and “going front to back on the boat,” per NBC2 News.

The tow service owner also said that because of his line of work, he is used to spotting all kinds of creatures on the water — just not bears.

“It was pretty incredible,” he added.
According to NBC2 News, several members of the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club also observed the bear’s sailboat adventure.

“Word started spreading that there was a bear on the docks. And I said, ‘No. No. There can’t be a bear on the docks,’ ” General Manager Manny Blanco told the outlet, adding that he “walked out on the docks and sure enough, there was a bear on a boat.”

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Like Dillman, Blanco has seen a lot of things in the marina — alligators, dolphins and manatees, to name a few — “but I never seen a bear,” he said.

Shortly after the bear was spotted, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission was contacted, per NBC2 News.

Though black bears prefer habitats “such as forested wetlands and uplands, natural pinelands, hammocks, scrub and shrub lands,” per the FWC’s website, the commission theorized that the bear likely abandoned his usual haunts and climbed aboard the boat in search of food.

According to NBC2 News, the bear left the boat and marina, and the FWC has been monitoring its movements since.

Source: https://animalove.info/2023/11/13/black-bear-climbs-aboard-florida-sailboat-we-were-kind-of-blown-away

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