ITV embarrassed by report of polar bear washed up on beach

The presenter of ITV’s West Country breakfast bulletin informed astonished viewers that an animal more commonly spotted near the North Pole had turned up in the seaside town of Bude. Video footage showed a large, white beast lying on the shore.
“A walker in Cornwall has caught an extraordinary sight on camera. A polar bear has washed up on a beach near Bude,” an excited Miss Lloyd said. “The bear comes from the Arctic Circle and an investigation is under way as to how it could have ended up there.”

Alas for Miss Lloyd, the tale of the Cornish polar bear turned out to be several thousand miles wide of the mark.
Closer inspection revealed that the polar bear was, in fact, a cow. The farm animal had been bleached white by sea water.
Red-faced bosses at ITV dropped the item from later bulletins, but insisted that it was an easy mistake. “The animal caused quite a stir in Bude. Several people has seen the animal from a cliff top and thought it was a polar bear,” a spokesman said. “Its size and colour and its lying position on the beach did make it look like a polar bear and we had several calls.
“But on closer inspection we discovered it was a cow. The tide was very strong and it did bring several dead animals in along that stretch of coast.”
The spokesman conceded that the mistake was “a bit embarrassing”.
Several dog walkers and ramblers contacted the television station after spotting the animal early yesterday morning. The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) service also received calls.
A BDMLR spokesman said: “Mostly we deal with stranded seals, whales, dolphins and porpoises. We don’t get calls about polar bears in Cornwall all that often. Or cows, for that matter.”
Miss Lloyd was unavailable for comment last night.
ITV West Country has an available audience of up to two million viewers and the bulletin was broadcast at 7.55am.
Students of geography would have realised the unlikeliness of a polar bear appearing in the warm seas off Cornwall. The animals live on the Arctic sea ice and Greenland is the closest they get to Britain. There are around 25,000 polar bears left in the wild and their existence is threatened by global warming.
Earlier this year, the RSPB pulled off an April Fool’s joke by claiming that a polar bear had been washed up – still alive – on the Isle of Mull.
This was not the first time that something unusual washed up on the beach at Bude. In 2008, seven suitcase-sized packages of cocaine were found on the beach, part of a £2.5 million haul washed up along the coastline.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Ammara said,

    tbh right it looks like a polar bear 😐

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