Police killed a polar bear that was wandering in the coastal Labrador community of Hopedale Tuesday after it was deemed a threat to public safety.

The large polar bear was photographed by residents and police as it walked between buildings in the community on the northern coast of Labrador.

RCMP Cpl. Mike Pilgrim said police had trouble keeping people away from the animal.

He said the bear wouldn't move, so he had to shoot it.

"[I have] mixed emotions, it's sad to  see such a magnificent animal put down in the community but again, you have to weigh the options for the safety of the community and the citizens," said Pilgrim.

The bear's remains will go to a hunter in Makkovik who had a license but hadn't killed an animal yet.

Pilgrim said tranquilizing the bear was not an option.