Black Bear Found Cooling Off on Yacht in Florida

Black Bear on a rock near water
© Svetlana Foote/

Written by Hannah Crawford

Updated: November 7, 2023

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We are now convinced that nothing new amazes us anymore. Just when we thought animals couldn’t get any more surprising or adorable, we might add, this black bear in Naples, Florida, proved us wrong.

Black Bear Sighting in Florida

On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, Todd Dillman, the owner of the TowBoat U.S. Naples-Marco Island, caught sight of this black bear just chilling on this yacht. At the start of the newscast video posted at the bottom below, we hear someone say, “No one’s going to believe me if I tell them.” Well, maybe they won’t believe a story, but they for sure will believe actual footage!

This big black bear wandered onto a yacht that was docked at the pier at Naples Sailing and Yacht Club. He assumed his membership was valid, given he was a bear, and just walked right on like he owned it or something. 

“We were kind of blown away that there was a bear in Royal Harbor,” Dillman said.  

“We get the saltwater crocs, the alligators, the sharks, stuff like that. But I can’t say I’ve seen anything like this before,” he said. “Not in a million years. And I probably won’t ever see it again.” 

Several members, including the general manager, came out to see this black bear on the yacht. No one could believe their eyes and what they were seeing! 

Local officials encouraged individuals to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to report a human-bear conflict or a sick, injured, orphaned or dead bear.” 

The FWC reported that this bear was most likely just looking for food and wandered onto a yacht that he smelled food on. This leaves us the room to encourage all boat owners to keep their food closed up tight! You never know just what might crawl onboard. 

What Do Black Bears Eat?

Black bear in water bringing its two front paws to its face

Black bears love to eat fish.

©Elizabeth Caron/

The North American black bear (Ursus americanus) of the genus Ursus is an omnivore eater. This means that it eats both plant matter and it eats meat. As such, they will eat plant matter such as fruits, nuts, grasses, roots, and bulbs. And for meat, black bears will eat rodents, fish, and other small animals. 

Black bears have an extremely good sense of smell. It’s so good that they are thought to have the best sense of smell compared to all other animals. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says that “Bears are thought to have the best sense of smell of any animal on earth. For example, the average dog’s sense of smell is 100 times better than a human’s. A bloodhound’s is 300 times better. A bear’s sense of smell is 7 times better than a bloodhound’s or 2,100 times better than a human’s.” 

Watch This Incredible Video Below!

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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