A police officer had a surprising face-to-face encounter with a bear cub in central Newfoundland last week.

"She was not aware of it until she felt him brush up against her leg," according to an RCMP news release Wednesday.

Const. Suzanne Bourque was patrolling the Terra Nova National Park, almost 200 kilometres west of St. John's, when she was advised that there was a bear cub at one of the park's rest stops.

Bourque investigated and she found the creature. The RCMP said the cub walked towards Bourque while she was talking to witnesses who said people were feeding the cub, which appeared to have been separated from its mother.

While no one was injured, police are warning people not to approach cubs because a dangerous, protective female bear may be nearby.

Wildlife officials also say that feeding a bear puts the animal at risk.

Bears that are fed by humans sometimes become a nuisance once they become comfortable with people — and some of those bears are eventually killed by wildlife officials or by police.

Police said the cub that Bourque encountered was captured and released in a more remote part of Terra Nova park, away from people.