CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Black Bear swimming in Lake Cumberland
July 1, 2016 Share

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Black Bear swimming in Lake Cumberland

PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) – Last Thursday, Sharon Gorham and her husband were enjoying a boat ride on Lake Cumberland when they saw something swimming in the water.

“I thought well it’s a deer, but it was too big to be a deer,” Gorham said.
“When we got closer, I noticed that it was black and that it was a bear,” Gorham said.

Gorman says the roughly 300 pound black bear was about 20 feet away from her boat.

“He wasn’t interested in us at all really,” Gorham said, “To see a bear on land is something, you know, I might be a little more nervous, but in the water I just thought it was cool.”

Gorham used her phone to record as the bear swam about 300 yards from Burnside island to the other side of the lake.

“It’s about 100 feet deep where he was swimming across so he was swimming slowly but he made it across. I was surprised,” Gorham said.

Gorham posted the video of the bear swimming in Lake Cumberland to social media. It has since been viewed more than half a million times.

Gorham said many people on social media pointed out what appeared to be a snake swimming near the bear in the video, but Gorham says that was only a stick.

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office told WKYT they have received numerous calls from people who have spotted black bears near their homes, and near streets. The sheriff’s office said it’s important that people know it is against the law to feed black bears in any way.

Feeding bears brings them into residential areas, causing harm to both the bear and the residents.

As for Gorham, she said seeing the bear swimming in the lake was exciting, and likely something she will never see again.

“I think this is a once in a lifetime sighting,” Gorham said.