But as residents of the Wesleyville area can attest this week, there are some places the province where an encounter is entirely possible.
Just in case you do come across one, the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources wants you to know what to do.
The department says residents who live in areas where polar bears have been known to frequent should take appropriate steps to avoid an encounter.
“This includes being aware of your surroundings, keeping pets inside or under close supervision, travelling in groups when possible, never approaching a fresh kill or carcass, and adhering to the proper storage, collection and disposal of garbage to avoid attracting bears into their communities and backyards,” a release issued on Thursday advised.
How you react to a polar bear depends on whether or not the animal knows you’re there.
You should therefore first take note of the bear’s behaviour.
If it’s unaware of your presence, quietly back away and leave the area. Try and stay downwind of the animal. Keep an eye on the bear. Never get between a bear and her cubs.
If the bear has seen or smelled you, remain calm. Give the bear or bears space and a route to get away. Back away – get out of the situation, but never run. If you must speak, do so calmly and firmly. Avoid direct eye.
Anyone who spots a polar bear is asked to contact the local district forestry office in Gambo at (709) 674-1521.