Kayaking on the lake is fun, relaxing and certainly exciting from time to time, but kayaker Matthew Garrity takes it to a new level in this video when he kayaks right next to a swimming black bear on Hemlock Lake in upstate New York!
Paddling his kayak no more than 5 or 6 feet from the massive bear, Matthew just keeps paddling along with seemingly no fear whatsoever. As for the bear, he appears almost ambivalent to his kayaking human companion.
Matthew told Mashable that he heard loud breathing even before he saw the bear, and that the bear did know he was there but decided to just continue his daily workout.
It’s not that surprising to see this bear so close to humans - black bears live all up and down the east United States coast. According to the NWF, they are mainly concentrated in the Appalachian Mountain regions and then east to the Atlantic Ocean. They can be found from Maine all the way down into the southern parts of Florida.
Black bears do not generally get as large as Grizzlies do, but they are still plenty big enough to cause people to sensibly back off when they encounter one. Black bears are excellent swimmers and can even dive. Check out this friendly bear in Matthew’s video below, and SHARE if you like it.