Florida Black bear chills aboard luxury yacht in Naples: must-watch video

A Florida Black bear seemingly left the woods and decided to give itself a luxury "daycation" aboard a sailing yacht in Naples this week.

Todd Dillman, owner of TowBoatUS Naples & Marco Island, was finishing a job towing another boat on Thursday in Royal Harbor when he spotted the bear on the 50-foot catamaran, named "TomCat," docked at the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club.

"I was thinking, I'm not much of a filmer. And I was like, ‘I probably should film this' because if I tell people this story, they're not going to believe me," he told FOX 35 Friday in a Zoom interview.

"Definitely chose a nice boat to get on."


The bear could be seen taking in the views of the water in the back of the boat, sniffing around, and then exploring the rest of the boat, possibly in search of food or a way off. It wasn't immediately clear what led the bear to the boat or where it came from.

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Dillman said he has seen a lot of wildlife during his time towing boats, but to see a bear, let alone one on a boat, was a first for him. 

"We see, you know, the saltwater crocs, the alligators, the sharks, the rays, all of that. So, I mean, wildlife is an abundance around here, but a bear 
not too often," he said.

"This is definitely a new one," he added.

Eventually, the bear made its way off the boat, but it's not exactly clear where it went next. The FWC said it was aware of the bear and the videos circulating online, and that its bear biologists were monitoring its movements.

The FWC asked that people give this particular bear – and any other bear they see – some space.

Bears are most active in the spring and the fall in search of food. In the spring, the bears are coming out of the winter months and are also teaching their cubs how to find food. In the fall, the bears look to consume more calories ahead of the winter and may search for food in unusual areas, the FWC said.

If a bear cannot find easy food, such as outdoor pet food, bird seed, or trash, it will move on to other areas.

It's one of a number of bear incidents we've reported on recently.

Earlier this week in Sanford, Andrew Scheirer spotted what appeared to be a well-fed bear in someone's garage within the Preserve at Astor Farm subdivision. His video showed the bear munching on some sort of snack.

"They are a part of the neighborhood. Not aggressive and not scary or threatening. We love our bears. Wish development would stop encroaching on their natural habitat." Scheirer said.

Over the last few months, a popular three-legged bear, aptly named "Tripod," has been spotted throughout neighborhoods in Seminole County. In one case, be broke through someone's screen porch and roamed around an outdoor kitchen, but ultimately left empty-handed.

In September, Tripod managed to get into the porch of another home where he found the fridge, reportedly stocked with White Claws and other beverages.

"Oh my God, look at him," Josaury Diglio's son could be heard saying in one of the videos as the bear rummaged through a cabinet by the pool. "This is crazy!" he added, capturing the bizarre encounter on his cellphone.

She said Tripod managed to get three White Claws out of the fridge.

There are estimated to be more than 4,000 bears throughout Florida. The last count was conducted in 2015. The next count is scheduled for 2025.