Polar Bear Warning Issued for Bonavista Area

Residents are being cautioned about a polar bear reported in the Bonavista area.

Conservation officers are monitoring the movement of the animal. Under no circumstances should residents approach the polar bear.

Residents who live in 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, keeping pets inside or under close supervision, 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: Remain calm; 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 Clarenville at 709-466-7439.