Playful polar bear makes a visit to Wesleyville
RCMP issued warning to residents to remain cautious and avoid the animal
By all accounts Wesleyville’s latest visitor is in town for a bit of fun and adventure, but the RCMP remind people of the danger posed by a visit by one of Canada’s largest predators.
“He was just sort of lingering around the islands for awhile, it attracted a fair amount of crowd, people wanting to take pictures of the bear and see the bear,” said Cpl. Kimball Vardy of the RCMP’s New Wes Valley Detachment. “He was just out there playing around sliding on the snow, having a bit of fun for himself.”
The sight of the playful polar bear attracted lots of attention from local residents last week. Jessica Andrews lives in Wesleyville and first heard news of the bear while at work, and eagerly tracked its progress throughout the day.
“I knew there was a posting on the classifieds that there was polar bear spotted,” said Andrews. “I was kind of looking out at work, couldn’t see him, so I went home after work, went inside, got the binoculars, looked through them, couldn’t see him.”
After searching for a while, Andrews says she had to take her dog’s outside, and that’s when she heard some yelling.
“There was a guy across the road and I could hear him say, ‘look he’s up on the rocks,” said Andrews. “So I ran back in and got the binoculars and for two hours until he disappeared I was in the spyglasses looking through them, and I was just beyond amazed.”
By nightfall however, the bear entered the water and began to make its way to shore. Headed towards Wesleyville, as Vardy and other residents keenly watched its progress.
“At one point he struck land just on the back of a persons house,” said Vardy. “I was there and I managed to scare the bear away, back out into the water and he didn’t show again until this morning.”
Vardy says the bear went back out on the islands. The Department of Environment and Climate Change’s Wildlife Division monitored the situation.
The RCMP asked residents to exercise caution and avoid the animal.
“It doesn’t seem to be hunting right now, it seems to be more of a curious bear, that’s sort of exploring the area,” said Vardy. “But we are reminding people to stay away from the bear, don’t get too close to it. If you’re going to observe the bear, do it from a distance.”
Vardy also noted should the bear enter the town again residents are asked to avoid any contact with the animal, and to contact the RCMP at 709-536-2419. Sightings can also be reported to the Department of Environment and Climate Change’s Wildlife Division at 709-258-5334.
PHOTO COURTESY OF OCEAN VIEW PHOTOGRAPHY Top right: A polar bear spotted on the islands near Wesleyville March 29, takes a moment to stretch upwards. Several commenters have noted the bear looks as though he is praying.
PHOTO COURTESY OF OCEAN VIEW PHOTOGRAPHY Far right: All legs, the polar bear frolics in the snow on the islands just off shore of Wesleyville March 29.
PHOTO COURTESY OF OCEAN VIEW PHOTOGRAPHY Right: A polar bear spotted on the islands near Wesleyville plays around in the snow March 29.