Polar Bear Warning Issued for the Coast of Labrador
Residents of coastal Labrador are being cautioned about polar bears in and around several communities.
Polar bears have been reported near Black Tickle, Mary’s Harbour, and Red Bay.
Conservation officers are monitoring the movement of the animals.
Residents who live in coastal areas where polar bears have been known to frequent are encouraged to take appropriate steps to avoid an encounter with bears. This includes being aware of your surroundings, travelling in groups when possible, never approaching a fresh kill or carcass, and adhering to the proper storage, collection and disposal of garbage to avoid attracting bears into their communities and backyards.
While every encounter is different, if an individual encounters a polar bear, they should first take note of the bear’s behavior. If the bear does not know you are there:
Quietly back away and leave the area;
Try and stay downwind of the animal;
Keep an eye on the bear;
Never get between a bear and her cubs.
If the bear has seen or smelled you:
Give the bear(s) space and a route to get away;
Back away; get out of the situation; never run;
If you must speak, do so calmly and firmly; and
Avoid direct eye contact with the bear(s).
Anyone sighting a polar bear is asked to contact the local District Forestry Office in Port Hope Simpson at 709-960-0400; in Cartwright at 709-938-7362, or the 24 hour duty officer at 709-897-7117.