Dozens Of Stranded Seals Flounder In Canadian Town

Pauline Gross
January 11, 2019

The incident comes on the heels of another ongoing case of seals descending on a Newfoundland town, raising the complicated question of who should be responsible for safely removing the flippered guests.

The mayor wants to see a plan put in place to remove the seals which she says won't be able to make it the 5 miles or so to the ice edge and into the ocean. Two seals have also died after being hit by vehicles.

The group of seals are becoming hungry, exhausted and are crying out, says Fitzgerald.

Posting on Facebook, the force said: "The RCMP and DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) remind the general public that it is illegal to disturb marine mammals and although animals of the wild may appear to be friendly in nature, it is very unsafe to approach or attempt to capture animals without proper equipment".

Garland said local RCMP have not received any complaints from residents about threats to public or animal safety, so the force has not intervened in removing the Roddickton seals.

"People chase them. People are there every day on snowmobiles stopping and looking at them, and the animals, they won't move from you", he said in an interview Monday.

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She also said that the seals appeared increasingly lethargic.

"There's not enough food in that little water supply", she added.

"For animals to be going into bays and then to be caught up by the freeze is not that common, though it's happened before", said Stenson. Fitzgerald said a plane from St. John's will fly over the area to assess the situation beyond the town once weather permits. He was also concerned that people might unwittingly get too close to the animals which he anxious might make the seals turn aggressive.

Harp seals travel south in winter months from the Canadian Arctic and Greenland to waters off the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Garry Stenson of Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans told The Northern Pen.

"It's hard for motorists, and nobody wants to see these little seals hit in our community".

"Seals are wild animals that can be unpredictable, and may become aggressive in order to protect themselves".

Other reports by GizPress

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