Video: Kayaker Encroaches on Black Bear’s Swim Lane


So, you see something that appears large and ominous swimming across the lake, yet you can’t quite make out what it is. The natural reaction: jump into a kayak and paddle out for a face-to-face, right?

That’s what Matthew Garrity recently did when he and a couple of buddies were on Hemlock Lake in Upstate New York. He was the only one to venture out for a closer look, however.

What he found was a rather large black bear, perhaps doing its daily laps. And judging from his phone-recorded video, he paddled to within a few feet of the bruin.

The bear didn’t seem to mind as it seemed intent on its task, but Garrity did tell the website “Masher” that at one point, when he was paddling and not recording, the animal did turn its head and give the ‘yaker the direct stink-eye.

Garrity might have thought twice about encroaching into the animal’s swim lane if he’d known that black bears are good for about 1½ miles in freshwater, and can reach a burst speed faster than that of an average kayaker.

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