Nfld. & Labrador

Polar bear warning issued by Northern Peninsula highway

Police urged the public on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula to stay clear of a polar bear that had been seen by the main highway in the area.
This polar bear came ashore at Greenspond on April 3, but was later shot to death in the interests of public safety. (Submitted by Jason Tong)

Police urged the public on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula to stay clear of a polar bear that had been seen by the main highway in the area.

The warning, issued by the RCMP and the provincial Department of Natural Resources, marks at least the eighth warning about polar bears in the province in the last few weeks.

The bear was seen on Route 430, which stretches the long and often hilly terrain of the Northern Peninsula, near Three Mile Lake. The bear was seen heading north toward Bird Cove and Shoal Cove West.

People in the area were asked not to travel alone.

"Do not approach the bear and avoid the use of any snowmobiles at this time. The noise may attract the bear," the warning said.

While polar bears are far from rare in Newfoundland and Labrador, there has been an uncommon frequency in sightings this spring, particularly around the island.

Two bears have been shot and killed. In one instance in late March, a bear had killed livestock and was trying to enter homes in Goose Cove, near St. Anthony.

Earlier this week, an RCMP officer shot a bear in the Bonavista Bay community of Greenspond, as it approached a nearby school. The RCMP determined it would have taken too long for a wildlife team to arrive with a tranquilizer.

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