Bears on the loose in Estonian capital

If you go down in the woods today... (AFP Photo/STR)

Tallinn (AFP) - Coronavirus aside, residents of a Tallinn neighbourhood had ever the more reason to stay indoors Friday, after local authorities warned that bears were on the loose in the Estonian capital.

The animals, thought to be a mother with one or more cubs, were first spotted on forest trails in the Haabersti district on Thursday morning, while one of the later sightings placed them at a school parking lot.

"We ask folks in Haabersti to pay attention, to not go looking for the bears on their own, to keep dogs on leashes and, if they notice a bear, to dial 112 immediately," rescuers wrote on their Facebook page Friday.

"We will continue the search when we receive new information" as to their whereabouts, they said, adding that it appeared however that the bears had left the district.

On Thursday, the city had rerouted traffic in the area, only allowing public transportation through, as rescuers and hunters used drones to try to track down the bears.

Search dogs and a veterinarian were brought on board in the evening, but they too failed to locate the animals and the search was called off for the night.