A LIFE-LIKE polar bear was spotted prowling around Bolton town centre yesterday.

The puppet, named Bjorn, had crowds of passers-by gazing in wonder as they stopped to marvel at the bear, which has blinking eyes, a sniffing nose and a mouth that opens.

The bear’s handler invited spectators to stroke him and have their photo taken with the model animal.

The bear was originally meant to be showcased in the town centre on Thursday, but a Bolton Council spokesman said his appearance was postponed due to rain.

Bjorn was just one of the attractions brought into the town centre by Bolton Council this Christmas in a bid to attract more visitors.

Cllr Cliff Morris, the leader of Bolton Council, said: “We’ve got something for everyone in the town centre this Christmas and I’d encourage everyone to come down and enjoy the fun.”

Other attractions include real reindeer, a free Santa’s grotto, a festive market, an ice rink, an offers shop and free parking at certain times.