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Several polar bear sightings reported in St. Anthony area of the Northern Peninsula

Polar bear (file photo).
Polar bear (file photo). - Contributed
ST. ANTHONY, N.L. —

Residents around the St. Anthony area of the Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador, are advised to be on the lookout for polar bears.

In a press release late this afternoon, March 17, the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources said it has been made aware of reports of several polar bears in and around the town of St. Anthony over the past few days.

Tracks have been observed in the community, including the Cremaillere Road area. 

Conservation officers are monitoring the area and they have recommended residents take appropriate steps to avoid encounters with polar bears.

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,” the department stated in its release.

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.

The department added, 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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