Sylvain Marois, southeast district commander at the province’s wildlife protection agency, said the bear was in a wooded area near the town of Madeleine-Centre, Que. late Saturday afternoon.
A game warden is on the scene along with provincial police, he said in an interview, and the bear is being observed before they decide what action to take.
He said they are considering attempting to tranquilize the bear, but may have to kill it due to public safety concerns.
“We’re not dealing with a black bear or a moose or deer in the city, we’re dealing with a polar bear,” he said.
Provincial police issued a warning shortly before 1 p.m., asking people in Madeleine-Centre to stay in their homes.
The town, located on the Gaspe peninsula, is less than 300 km north of the New Brunswick border and separated from more northern parts of Quebec by more than 100 km of water.