Polar bear shot by wildlife officers near Catalina after being deemed public
By Geoff Bartlett,
Posted: Apr 10, 2017
.. Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of
Fisheries and Land Resources says its officers shot and killed a polar on
the Bonavista Peninsula this weekend as a last resort.
The animal was being tracked near the shoreline of Catalina throughout the
day Saturday, after first being spotted earlier in the morning.
The department said officers immediately started following its polar bear
control management policy, which outlines the steps for containing a polar
bear in a community.
The policy puts a priority on capturing the polar bear alive if possible,
and suggests killing the animal only if it is deemed a public safety risk.
Last course of action
According to the department, conservation officers had originally planned to
use a helicopter and tranquillizers to capture the bear alive, but the
helicopter was unable to fly all day due to foggy and windy weather
As they continued to monitor the bear, the animal gradually moved closer to
shore. Officers also set up a baited live trap, and used sirens and noise
repellant to try to scare the bear back out on the sea ice.
After those techniques failed – and the bear continued to move towards
nearby homes and people – officers determined the bear was a public safety
risk and decided to go with the lethal option.
“This decision is the very last course of action to take after all other
options are exhausted and only taken when public safety is immediately at
risk,” the department wrote in a statement.
CBC received several complaints from people upset that the bear was shot.
There was also some debate on social media as to whether the decision to
kill the animal was justified.
Meanwhile, the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources also had to deal
with a report of polar bear sighting on the Burin Peninsula this weekend.
Officers were able to tranquillize the bear in the Parker’s Cove area Sunday
evening, before successfully capturing and relocating it, according to the
Amid some public outrage, conservation officers say killing a polar bear on
the Bonavista Peninsula this weekend was a last resort.