Polar bears sighted in Bonavista, Baie Verte Peninsula
The Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture has issued its second polar bear winter alert, urging residents of coastal communities with sea ice to be aware of potential polar bear activity in their area.
In a press release Sunday, the department said it had received reports of polar bears in and around Pacquet on the Baie Verte Peninsula and Melrose on the Bonavista Peninsula.
Polar bears have also been sighted on the south Labrador coast at Port Hope Simpson, St Lewis and Black Tickle and on the northern peninsula near St Anthony.
The province says conservation officials are monitoring these areas and encouraging residents to take appropriate measures to avoid an encounter with one of these amazing but dangerous animals. It states that residents should never approach a polar bear and that people should take note of a bear’s behavior.
“Local residents should keep pets indoors or under close supervision, travel in groups if possible when outdoors, and never approach a fresh kill or carcass,” the press release said. “Be sure to store and dispose of litter properly to avoid attracting bears into communities.”
What to do if you see a polar bear
The Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture says every encounter with a polar bear can be different and people should be aware of the bear’s behavior when in the vicinity of a polar bear.
If it seems like the bear hasn’t spotted you, you should:
Back out quietly and leave the area
Try to stay in the lee of the beast
Keep an eye on the bear
Never come between a bear and its cubs
If it looks like the bear spotted you:
Give the bear room and an escape route
Back, but don’t run
If you must speak, do so calmly and firmly
Avoid direct eye contact with the bear
Residents in the Bonavista area are instructed to report polar bear sightings to the Clarenville Forest Service. Those living in the Baie Verte area are advised to contact the Springdale office, while those in St Anthony are advised to contact Roddickton Forest Service. Those in southern Labrador are urged to contact the Port Hope Simpson office.
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