UPDATE: Town terrorized by polar bear

Ian
Ian Murdoch
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Breaks into houses, startles residents in Northern Peninsula community

Goose Cove — Residents of Goose Cove were startled this morning after a polar bear tore through the small fishing town on the Northern Peninsula, breaking into houses and killing at least four animals.

The Department of Natural Resources said a conservation officer was contacted early this morning to respond, along with the RCMP, after reports of the bear’s visit.

The animal, estimated to be 300 to 350 pounds, smashed windows, doors and gates, causing damage to four homes.

Mike Sexton, a 50-year-old resident of Goose Cove, said he’s never seen such a thing in his life.

Sometime around 4 a.m., the bear smashed a window out of his house and then proceeded to terrorize the animals in the small barn some 50 feet from the Sexton home.

It managed to break through the barn gate, something Sexton said even his three-year-old ram couldn’t accomplish, and dragged out and killed a ewe, a lamb and two ducks.

Sexton’s cat was missing as well, although it was unknown if the bear had gotten to it.

“I didn’t expect a bear would ever do it,” said Sexton.

Up the street, the bear broke into Dana Reardon’s patio door.

 Dana said his brother, Damien, beat on the table and pushed on chairs to scare the bear out of the house while his father went to grab a gun.

“He just came on up, opened the door and came on in,” said Dana.

There was a seven-year-old in the house at the time.

“She woke up frightened to death,” he said. “We’re gonna bar up the door and hope they don’t come back no more.”

Ed Reardon had two of his windows smashed in during the melee.

He heard the bear outside at around 4 a.m. after it startled him from his sleep.

“I heard the racket,” he said. “I went back to sleep and then I heard another noise. I thought perhaps it was raining.”

He went to inspect what the noise was all about and discovered two windows shattered and letting in the cold air.

No people were injured in during the rampage.

A Department of Natural Resources public relations official said via email that the department had planned on tranquilizing the bear and had requested a helicopter in the event that they could put it to sleep.

However, the weather was not suitable for flying.

Meanwhile, the polar bear had turned back towards Sexton’s barn, where it had killed the animals and was “aggressive and believed to be a danger to the public,” according to the official.

“The decision was made by the Department of Natural Resources and the RCMP that it should be put down in the interest of public safety.”

Residents of Goose Cove said the bear was shot around 8 a.m., up on the hill behind Sexton’s barn.

The Department of Natural Resources said, “the bear is now government property and will be taken to a local taxidermist.”

 The Northern Pen/Transcontinental Media

 •••

(Earlier story)

An aggessive polar bear that broke into several houses and a barn early this morning in the Northern Peninsula town of Goose Cove was finally shot and killed by wildlife officials.

No one was injured but residents were shaken up.

The bear did kill a ewe, a lamb and two ducks while in the barn.

The polar bear began its attack about 4:30 a.m. It smashed doors and windows.

The bear was killed about 8 a.m.

The Department of Natural Resources estimates the polar bear weighs between 300-350 pounds.

 

Resident Mike Sexton said the gate to his barn was destroyed by the polar bear, something that not even his three-year-old ram could do. The polar bear smashed a window in Sexton's house before heading to the barn where it killed some of his animals.

 

 

 

Geographic location: Northern Peninsula, Goose Cove

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Recent comments

  • rog
    April 02, 2012 - 08:08

    will we ever learn.....red on white.....dead white bear.....guns....and of course the ultimate picture for to put it all together and sensationalize it all.....pull the trigger and send to the media people....which love this....then let the rest of the world know we just shot a small white cuddly helpless snuggly bear.....for trying to survive.....and call us in a derogative manner Newfie…Back to square one again….. Thanks Guys

  • oh my
    April 01, 2012 - 07:51

    Here we go again....red on white and taking pictures…..sending to the media….just makes a huge statement about ourselves…..did we not learn from our past about pictures of white dead animal with RED blood on the white snow…..what do we see….BLOOD…everyone has the right to protect themselves but we never see the perpetrators picture with it’s injuries posted on the news….why was this sensationalized so much with these pictures….should have used a picture of a life healthy bear….we are trying to maintain a hunting life here and this just gives us another black eye….stop posting these picture and use words to describe the events that happen. Just adding fuel to the fire…. “Just saying”

  • Dastardly
    April 01, 2012 - 06:46

    That would make a beautiful rug in front of my fireplace!!

  • oh my
    March 31, 2012 - 17:55

    here we go again......red on white.....animal killed with white fur/hair..."...and then we photograph it and send to the papers....history didn't teach us anything.....this is just more fuel for the fire.....correct me ...but did...we made this to sensational.

  • Cathie Murdoch
    March 31, 2012 - 07:13

    I wonder why the Polar Bear did this. Something must have ticked him off. Usually Polar Bears are so graceful and calm. They are beautiful to watch.

  • mike
    March 29, 2012 - 22:20

    To the person who said "they serve no useful purpose". I am sorry that we could not find a task for the Polar bear to perform to enrich your life. Could you please supply a list of other animals you feel inconvenienced by so we can proceed to kill them as well. Imagine the nerve of those bears wanting to live and not checking with immigration to see where they were allowed to roam. Just disrespectful! You're right, lets shoot them all before they interfere with our plans for their natural habitat.

  • Rob R.
    March 29, 2012 - 19:52

    If they could get a bullet in the bear they could have got a dart in him.Then they could have either kept him under or confined (like they do in Curchill M.)until the weather cleared.This is typical Newfoundland b.s.Whether its shooting coyotes and spreading unscientific propaganda about cariboo decline,or maybe the lies and huge propaganda with seals and cod stocks(although the world is not buying that b.s.anymore)The killing of endangered species fits right in with the usual newfie attitude towards animals and the environment,we are destroying our kids and grandkids world.I can see by many of the comments here that this backwards ignorant world veiw is alive and well on the rock.That bear did not have to die.Everything is connected,...Understand?

  • Dwayne
    March 29, 2012 - 19:41

    I'd say the department of natural resources and the RCMP did the best job they could. The weather was too bad to relocate the animal. The animal was shot 4 hours after the first sighting and after it did a lot of damage in the little town. I'm pretty sure they went with the only option they had. Would you like a hungry, wild, untrustworthy animal running around your town where your children live. Wake up people..........it wasn't Winnie The Poo they were dealing with. Good job Department Of Natural Resources and RCMP!

  • mk
    March 29, 2012 - 18:21

    it blows my mind to know that the polar bear is endangered and the officials whom "supposed to be trained", to know how to act in a situation like this, came to the concolusion to shoot this bear. i wonder if those officals ever heard of immoblization drugs???, if not get some education!.. no helicopter hey??...so thats the excuse...what a joke!

  • CRAIG - FRANCIS KEOUGH
    March 29, 2012 - 16:49

    LOST , POOR & STAVING BABY POLAR BEAR - ICONE OF CANADIAN WILDLIFE - NEARING EXTINCTION IN CANADA .- WITHOUT MOTHER POLAR BEAR BECAUSE IN ALL PROBABILITY THE MOTHER POLAR BEAR WAS KILLED BY AMERICAN HUNTER WHO PAID $10,000.00 CDN DOLLARS TO KILL HER .. TO LEAVE THE BABY POLAR BEAR TO WANDER LOST AND HUNGRY IN SEARCH OF FOOD AND LIKE MOTHER POLAR BEAR , BABY POLAR WAS SHOT DEAD BY A JESSIE JAMES TYPE OF GUN SLINGER FROM THE WILD WEST - NUMBER ONE : NEWFOUNDLAND IS NOT THE WILD WEST :. - NUMBER TWO : NEWFOUNDLANDERS ARE CIVILISED PEOPLE - NUMBER THREE : NEWFOUNDLAND WILDLIFE AND R.C.M.P. OFFICERS ARE EXTREMELY WELL TRAINED FOR WILDLIFE INTRUSIONS OF RURAL COMMUNITIES .OF THIS TYPE - NUMBER FOUR : A WILD LIFE HOTLINE SHOULD BE SET UP IN COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT NEWFOUNDLAND - THERE ARE SUCH SERVICES FOR THE ''MOOSE ON THE LOOSE '' CHALLENGES OF 2012 , WHY NOT FOR THE LOST BABY BEARS . A LOST HUNGRY ANIMAL WANTS TO EAT FOOD , DRINK FRESH WATER AND BREATH FRESH AIR - YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE TARSAN OR A BIOLOGIST TO UNDERSTAND THAT AND FURTHERMORE IF MEAT , CHICKEN WHATEVER IF THROWN IN THE DIRECTION OF A WILD ANIMAL , THEY WILL EAT RAPIDLY WHICH WILL RESULT IN THEIR CALMING DOWN ALOT UNTIL THE ARRIVAL OF THE WILDLIFE OR R.C.M.P. OFFICERS ..THE INITIAL MOVE IN THE SAME SITUATION IS TO KEEP AWAY AS FAR AS POS SIBLE , THROW FOOD , PHONE FOR BACK UP AND LOW AND BEHOLD THE BABY STARVING HUNGRY BEAR CAN BE CAPTURED WITH NO CASUALTIES AND THE NICE TOWNSHIP PEOPLE CAN RELAX TO A NICE BOX OF BEER : BLACK HORSE - 24 HORSE POWER ... TAKE CAR ALL CRAIG HERE FROM UP IN THE MAINLAND - QUEBEC CITY À BIENTÔT

    • honey nut chelios
      April 01, 2012 - 06:44

      Hey you see that key on your keyboard labelled "caps lock"? Press it! Geez my ears are bleeding

  • Ronald
    March 29, 2012 - 16:42

    G - Where did you move? Must have been to a pretty wild place if you consider a polar bear breaking into your house a mere inconvenience.

  • JH
    March 29, 2012 - 16:40

    Seems like over reaction and the bear could have been tranquilized. Polar bears are endangered species. We need to respect all life.

  • Brenda
    March 29, 2012 - 16:38

    What a bunch of bleeding heart dolts, let's hope a wild animal breaks into your house and terrorizes you some day so you can realize how asinine your comments are. And as for Polar Bears being endangered, that is a myth perpetuated by animal rights activists and environmentalists to get money out of people like the previously mentioned bleeding hearts. And btw, where is the sympathy for the animals the bear killed????

  • Allison
    March 29, 2012 - 15:34

    Yes it is sad that the bear was killed, but everyone seems to think officials and residents have all day to make a decision. It takes seconds for a bear to turn on someone, and the bear was clearly looking for a meal. Polar bears have no concept of humans as anything other than prey. Just google "Man Chased by Polar Bear" and see how close a photographer came to being lunch. We are lucky this story didn't turn out more tragic. I'm sad that a bear has been killed but happy it wasn't a person. The bear would likely continue to pose a threat in Labrador, or where ever it was relocated.

  • CKE
    March 29, 2012 - 15:33

    Cost. Equipping and training Wildlife or RCMP to use Tranquilizers safely and effectively, the cost of the drugs to administer. Humane containment and transport of the animal for re-entry. The cost, maintenance and staffing a government vessel used to transport the animal to the nearest location safe from any human interaction (See: Greenland, ice flows will just lead back to land). Does the government want to spend that kind of money, when a couple of .303 rounds are what, $0.50 a pop?

  • R
    March 29, 2012 - 15:21

    Many complain because the bear was killed. But how many of the same individuals would still complain if an unsuccessful attempt to tranq and relocate the bear resulted in the injury/death of a resident of the community or wild life officer. There is just no keeping people happy these days. Thankfully no one was injured. Although it is never good to see an animal (especially an endangered one) put down in such a manner but the officers did what they thought was best given the circumstances. Job well done to them! I hope when taxidermy is complete it goes on display in a place where it will serve as an educational aid.

  • Former GNP Resident
    March 29, 2012 - 15:20

    Did anyone read this article? For starters, they would have tranquilized the bear however, the circumstances didn't allow for it at the time. Secondly, the Polar Bear had entered a home where several people were sleeping. It had killed several animals. Ask the Reardon's, I am sure they would feel that their lives were threatened given there was a 300 pound wild animal on a rampage in their kitchen. The Polar Bears are indeed losing their habitat, but they are not starving to death given the several millions of seals available as their diet. Have you all be so blinded by the propaganda of PETA and other organizations that you think every single animal should be saved?! The bear was a threat to the public. The resources were not available to deal with it in any other way. I think I will save my energy to protest real problems, like the 1 in 4 children in our country who live in poverty or the lack of search and rescue in our province leading to the death of children. Get some perspective people!!!!! Seriously!

  • Rodney
    March 29, 2012 - 14:40

    Didn't they just spend a small fortune rescuing a wayward puffin and frozen cat??? Why couldn't this animal have been tranquilized and keep in a safe enclosure/location until weather was suitable to transport it north??? It was a wild animal doing what it was born to do ...hunt and kill for survival!!!

    • Sarah
      March 30, 2012 - 16:42

      Aren't these trained "conservation authorities"? They don't appear to be properly trained in dealing with wild animals. If properly trained, they should have been prepared for all contingencies, especially in remote and less populated areas. I don't live that far north, but whether or not we like it, encountering a Polar Bear that far north is always a possibility, especially if Seals and other natural prey can be found anywhere close by. This Polar Bear was not being amoral or deliberately "trashing" property and killing pets/livestock with malice. Those would be human traits. Through circumstances out of the animal's control, it ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't want any comments about "bleeding hearts". I'm not a bleeding heart, or fan of PETA, which has it's own agenda. I am a realist and pragmatist. I live in a rural, less densely populated area, surrounded by forest, on my own little farm, with my family, pets and livestock. There are many wild large animals, predators such as Bear and Coyotes, non-predators such as Moose. Wildlife has to be respected, especially when we inhabit their habitat! The Polar Bear probably ended up there on an ice floe or berg. It was just hungry and acting on instinct to survive and not having access to it's regular diet, had to make do.

  • Cape Anguille
    March 29, 2012 - 14:22

    Come on you bleeding hearts trying to blame the demise of this young polar bear (150 pounds) on humans and global warming. Get a life! The Conversation Officers did the right thing in removing this rogue animal. It already invaded several homes and killed and attacked a sheep, lambs and ducks. Where is the sympathy for these farm animals. This was a young untrained polar bear that that bypassed extensive Labrador coastal ice and 9 (nine) million seals. This was rogue young untrained wild animal that had to be removed. Canada's Polar Bear population is quite healthy thank you. Global Warming has nothing to do with it. Cape Anguille

  • Labrador Wild
    March 29, 2012 - 14:02

    It's kinda funny reading the ignorant comments on this. The weather was really bad this morning which is why they couldn't get a helicopter in if they tranquilized it. The animals that the bear killed weren't eaten by it so he wasn't hungry and from the pictures it is easy to see he was at a healthy weight. The bear showed no sign of fear and he came to close to getting into houses, at 4 in the mornin', no one wants to wrestle a polar in their home. It's too bad but level headed RCMP and Wildlife officers were there and they decided when it was time to kill the bear. So wake up whiners and think about if you and your children were in the situation that residents of Goose Cove were in at 4AM in the morning.

  • g
    March 29, 2012 - 13:17

    Smooth move. killing an innocent animal, likely hunting for food. Just another reason why i moved away from the mecca of modern thinking and society that is newfoundland and labrador. was anyone actually physically threatened by the bear or merely inconvenienced? take a look around at the area of the world where you live, ya think. yer gonna have a wild animal or two here and there. Amazing that no plan is in place for this, other than to pump a couple rounds into an endangered species. fist the auks, then the beohtuks, way to go newfies, lets get rid of the polar bear next!

    • H
      March 29, 2012 - 15:50

      I'm sure you would want that innocent animal kept alive when it kills your livestock which is your source of food and income. When it happens to smash through a barn 50ft from your house, next likely spot is 50ft in your own bedroom. Think about it for a minute "G".

    • Laura
      March 29, 2012 - 14:18

      If you've been following this story, "G", the details are that the bear killed the barn animals, but didin't actually eat them. That would be surely signs of aggresion and god knows how this story may have ended. Modern thinking and society?? Get your head on straight there G, wherever you reside now hasn't taught you proper grammar or the ability to look beyond who exactly is potentially the victim in that situation.

    • G. Parson
      March 29, 2012 - 14:35

      So glad you moved. The IQ average here has risen significantly. Perhaps you missed the part where the bear broke down the door to a house. What do you think it would have done had not the occupant not scared it off with a shotgun. Polar bears will deliberately staulk and kill humans.

    • Joe
      March 29, 2012 - 15:00

      Did you not even read the story? The thing broke a door and entered someones house while they were sleeping... I'd say that's more of a mere inconvenience. Perhaps you think they should have given it a cracker and sent it on it's way?

    • Unknown
      March 29, 2012 - 15:09

      Yeah, move to other parts of the world where "murders" happen almost weekly and not complain, this bear tore up a barn and tried to get into several houses with the intent that he is getting food, a human in a bears eye's is like a platter. I bet you wouldn't be saying that if the bear managed to find his way upstairs in Mr. Sexton's house and spot the 7 year old that was there. That 7 year old would have looked like the lamb he just killed.

  • Nancy
    March 29, 2012 - 12:52

    Correct me if I'm wrong - but aren't polar bears now considered endangered? Why do these stories always end in killing? There is always, ALWAYS an alternative to death.

    • Amy
      March 29, 2012 - 13:29

      Please forgive my cynicism- but what about the ram and the other animals this poor little polar bear killed. Endangered species? I wish they were all dead. They serve no useful purpose whatever except to help kill off our fisheries.

    • Ronald
      March 29, 2012 - 16:50

      What about taxes? Is there always an alternative to taxes?

  • lyly
    March 29, 2012 - 12:40

    Unknown, I am 100% with you. We are causing this problem so the least we can do is deal with it humanly. Tranquilize, re-locate and NO picture of the dead bear in the Telegram! Shame on you Telegram, there was no need for the picture of the dead Coyote on the front page a short while ago and there is not need for this picture either.

    • G Parson
      March 29, 2012 - 14:40

      Oh poor dear sensitive you. Can't handle a picture off a dead bear. How will you ever make it through this horrible, nasty world.?

  • Christine
    March 29, 2012 - 12:22

    I agree with you Jeff. Not a threat? why wait til the bear attacks and kills a human. if it is tranquilized and then put back in it's own surrounding,.you think it can't or won't come back , if not to that town, maybe another? I say if it's a threat.kill it. just sayin.

  • Lilly
    March 29, 2012 - 11:52

    I so agree with Chris. And unless our species deals with global warming, the polar bears will continue to be hungry.

  • cathy
    March 29, 2012 - 11:27

    why must everything be killed? Thru no fault of its own, the bear is hungry and went looking for food...I've never seen a more bunch of trigger happy people that the bunch here in newfoundland....we are living in their enviroment..not the other way round...so why not drug them.

    • G Parson
      March 29, 2012 - 14:48

      The bear was hunting seals on the drift ice. That's what polar bears normally do this time of year when there are millions of seals on the ice. Its not unusual for a bear to come ashore in northern NL and polar bears can be extremely dangerous. As for us living in their environment, well humans have been living on this planet for a few million years. It's our environment too.

  • Chris
    March 29, 2012 - 10:54

    I know!! Polar Bears are going further and further away from their usual hunting grounds to find food as they're starving. I am not an expert or have a job simiiar to one...but I know the plight of the Bears! Wake up NL! Give RCMP tranquilizer guns please!! The solution of killing wildlife is NOT the solution!! Going to write Dept. of Natural Resources and RCMP now. Do it too!

    • G. Parson
      March 29, 2012 - 11:51

      Nonsense. Polar bears come ashore in northern NL every year in the spring. They are out on the drift ice killing seals (and there is no shortage of seals so they are not starving). A tranquilizer is slow-acting and a polar bear can do a lot of damage before it goes down.

  • jeff
    March 29, 2012 - 10:45

    Ok, so a polar bear kills livestock, does some property damage and enters a home...UNKOWN and MARK--I guess the bear isn't a threat yet huh?

  • wayne
    March 29, 2012 - 10:45

    oh my....more silly people......sure...why not wait until the stupid bear kills more valuable livestock or kills a person. It would have been better if the farmer had shot the bear himself before it killed his sheep and ducks. And as for "shock value" this is only shocking to people who have lost touch with reality. Go visit a farm and participate in the slaughter of a pig or a beef cow....then this normal part of existance won't shock you any more.

  • Mark
    March 29, 2012 - 10:29

    Cant we drug them? Why are we still forced to kill them in 2012?

    • Unknown
      March 29, 2012 - 20:23

      I live in the area and have seen these great creatures from a distance, yes they are a beautiful animal but a very dangerous. One of the homes that this bear had broken into was the residence of some young children. If he had hurt one of them, would you fel the same. It wasnt hunting for food, if that was the case he would have eaten his kill, but he didn't. And no thet waether conditions were vey prr here for the last few days, not suitable for a chopper to relocate it, where it has the potential to return anyway. Anyway I dont like to see any such animals be put down, but when its to close for comfort, there's no second guessing, this was the right thing to do!!!

  • Unknown
    March 29, 2012 - 10:27

    I am shocked to hear that this polar bear was shot to death versus being tranquilized and moved to a new location. I am also disgusted in The Telegram for showing such photos, a dead polar bear in the back of a pick-up and a dead ewe. I think this is completely unnecessary and I wish the release was used for more then shock value.