A couple out shopping had a close encounter when they mistook a polar bear for a shaggy-looking dog.
Clayton Waterman, 58 and his wife Doreen were travelling to the bank in Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada, to stop at when they saw the furry-figure walking in the same direction as their car along the road.
Turning to his wife, Clayton said, “Doreen, look at the big shaggy dog”.
But as they drove closer Mr Waterman was shocked at this case of mistaken identity, exclaiming “Doreen my God, that’s a polar bear”.
Driving slowly behind the bear, the couple watched as the arctic giant went about its’ business.
“It was just lumbering along the pavement”, said Mr Waterman.
The couple guessed that the bear was likely a youngster, and probably weighed no more than around 250 pounds.
Despite not having a mobile phone to warn anybody about the siting, Waterman said that he flagged down a truck to let them know.
The truck driver then managed to get hold of the police and wildlife authorities to inform them of the unexpected visitor.
Although the bear was small, police wanted more details from Mr Waterman over concerns that “mama bear” might be close by.
After the incident, the Watermans carried on with their errands, picking up meat for dinner and returning home, assuming that would be the last of it.
But this curious bear had another little surprise for them.
As Mrs Waterman got home and went to deliver some of the meat to a friend she stopped her car: “My God, there’s the polar bear again out on the harbour ice.”
Clayton immediately called the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and reported that the bear was now just 500 yards from his house, terrifyingly close, but due to the time of night the police were unable to come out until morning.
Despite the fearsome reputation of polar bears, Mr Water insists he wasn’t too worried, and even tried to joke with his wife.
He said: “I told Doreen to sleep on the couch just in case he came in he could see her first.
“But she didn’t like the joke.”