The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources has received a report of a polar bear sighting in the Horse Chops area near the Town of Roddickton. Conservation Officers are responding to the area to investigate.
This polar bear is not believed to be associated with three polar bears confirmed to be present in the St. Anthony area recently. Conservation Officers have been monitoring the movement of these bears last observed on sea ice off the community of St. Lunaire-Griquet.
Monitoring of the areas continues and the public are strongly encouraged to remain at a safe distance to avoid encounters with polar bears and to provide Conservation Officers with adequate space to perform their duties in a safe manner. The public are reminded that it is a violation of the Provincial Wild Life Act to harass wildlife.
Residents are encouraged to keep pets inside or under close supervision, travel in groups when outdoors if possible, and never approach a fresh kill or carcass. Always adhere to the proper storage, collection and disposal of garbage to avoid attracting bears into communities and yards.
Under no circumstances should residents approach a polar bear. While every situation is different, when encountering a polar bear take note of the bear’s behavior.
If the bear does not see you:
- Quietly back away and leave the area;
- Try to stay downwind of the animal;
- Keep an eye on the bear; and
- Never get between a bear and her cubs.
If the bear has seen or smelled you:
- Remain calm;
- Give the bear space and a route to get away;
- Back away but do not run;
- If you must speak, do so calmly and firmly; and
- Avoid direct eye contact with the bear.
Based on previous year’s observations of polar bear migration patterns, communities along the tip of the Northern Peninsula and South Coast of Labrador may observe polar bears during this time of year.
Anyone sighting a polar bear in this area is asked to call the Forestry and Wildlife District Office in Roddickton during the day at 709-457-2300 or on the After Hour Emergency line at 709-457-7243.
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Fisheries and Land Resources