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Monday, December 05, 2022

A polar bear travels south in Canada

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A polar bear was spotted Saturday in Canada’s Quebec region, after wildlife officials warned residents of a small town stunned by the rare appearance.

Witnesses said the bear, whose species has become a symbol of the dangers of global warming, was spotted early in the morning at the Madeleine-Center in the Gaspacia region, a peninsula along the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River.

As of Saturday afternoon, officials were still trying to locate the animal.

“The dog was barking, and I heard my companion shout, ‘There’s a bear, there’s a bear!’ Sophie Bonneville, who lives in a city of 2,000 people 800 kilometers east of Montreal.

Quebec provincial police warned about sightings of bears and urged people to stay indoors.

Bonneville said no one in the city had seen a polar bear so far south, not even wildlife officials.

“People thought it was a joke,” she told AFP.

“How can a bear cross the ice pack, swim and make it here? Even people on the north coast haven’t seen that,” she said.

Police patrol the area where hiking is popular.

“We went door-to-door asking people to stay indoors,” Quebec provincial police spokesman Stephane Tremblay told AFP. He said he had never seen a polar bear in the area.

“With climate change, anything is possible,” said Bonneville, who managed to snap a few pictures of the bear before wandering into a wooded area.

“The worrying thing is, why did it come here? Was it global warming? Or was it just nature’s fault?” He thought.

In Canada, polar bears, the planet’s largest land carnivore, are listed as a vulnerable species.

A study published in 2020 nature climate change said that climate change could lead to their extinction as global warming causes the gradual melting of Arctic ice packs.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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