This fierce beast mistaken for a 'shaggy dog' in Nfld.
Monday, April 27, 2015, 6:21 PM - Residents of Fogo Island, Newfoundland are still rubbing their eyes in disbelief after a 'big, shaggy dog' spotted in the community turned out to be a polar bear weighing approximately 250 pounds.
Clayton Waterman, 58, and his wife Doreen were driving through the area to purchase seal meat when they spotted the animal.
"As we were going up the hill I noticed an animal on the road and I said, 'Doreen, look at the big shaggy dog,' and we were looking at it and as it got closer I said, 'Doreen, my God, that's a polar bear,'" Waterman told the CBC.
The bear and the Watermans were headed in the same direction -- Clayton tells the CBC it was 'just lumbering along on the pavement' -- so Waterman slowed down and kept a safe distance.
He says the bear looked young and weighed around 250 pounds and appeared to be in good health.
It eventually turned off the road and into the woods.
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The couple didn't have a phone with them, so they flagged down a truck driver who called wildlife officials.
The Watermans returned home, about four kilometres from the sighting.
Doreen took the car out to deliver a piece of seal to a neighbour when she spotted the bear again, out on the harbour ice.
This time the animal was 500 yards from their home.
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Clayton called the RCMP, who told him they'd check in the following morning as it was getting dark.
"I wasn't so worried about that, but I told Doreen to sleep on the couch just in case he came in he could see her first … just joking with her, right? But she didn't like the joke," Clayton told the CBC.
It's unclear where the bear is now, but Waterman says he'll keep a phone with them when they head out in case it's spotted again.
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This isn't the first time a polar bear has made an appearance in a residential area.
In October, wildlife officials in Kaktovik, Alaska got a shock when a 'humongous' polar bear broke into a home. Apparently the bear was eating a drum of seal oil that belong to the homeowner, 81-year-old Betty Brower. No one was injured in the incident.
Then, an increase in polar bear sightings in Arviat, Nunavut last October prompted officials to hold Halloween celebrations indoors.
Officials say the polar bears have been coming into the small Canadian community more in recent years, especially in the fall.