A black bear has been spotted wandering around Newmarket, Ont., and York Regional Police are asking the public to keep an eye out for the animal.

"He’s eluded us," Staff Sgt. Rod Fraser said. "We’re asking that the public to keep an eye out for him and give us a call if they sight him."

Fraser said the bear was spotted in the Green Lane and Highway 404 area, but is believed to have wandered south since then in search of food. A number of officers are searching for the animal, but have so far been unable to locate it.

A resident spotted the bear in the backyard of their home near Leslie Street and Davis Drive on Sunday morning, and the animal was also seen Saturday near Sharon Public School.

Tim Ciszkowski said he spotted the bear running across Leslie Street, near the school.

"A black bear came out between Sharon Public School and the farm there and ran across Leslie and went up into a tree," he said. "I called my wife and told her to keep the kids inside."

Ciszowski said it is unusual for bears to roam into the area, and that he's "amazed" it came so far south.

Fraser said the bear is likely searching for food and urged residents to secure their garbage bins and avoid approaching the bear if they spot it. Instead, he said, residents should contact police.