Canadian town asks for help regarding odd seal situation

12 January, 2019, 19:41 | Author: Carlos George
  • Seals have been turning up on the roads and other places they don't belong in Roddickton

It's not unusual for a fisheries officer to move an individual seal if one becomes stranded or stuck on land, he said, but it's not easy to do, and it's much harder to catch them if they in or near water.

She says two seals were struck by cars Tuesday.

"There's seals on the road, there's seals in people's driveways, the backyards, the parking lots, the doorways, the businesses".

She said that the town has seen seals before - it's relatively common for a handful of seals to get disoriented after a local cove freezes over, disorienting the seals and temporarily causing them wander into the nearby town.

Fitzgerald fears the seals are too confused to find their way out of town.

They've been residents here now for one full week and it looks like they're not going anywhere real fast.

"They've been saying let nature take its course, but it's been nearly a week", she said. "We are getting inundated with phone calls from people that are saying, 'You've gotta do something".

The town on the northern tip of the Canadian island province, on a major seal migration route, is used to seeing seals.

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Harp seals migrate south from the Arctic starting in December, Stenson explained.

"They're looking around now to try and determine exactly how many seals are there, both in that area as well as in surrounding areas, and whereabouts they are", he said. They are also known to bite.

The residents of the town have shared photos and videos of the sea animals taking over their daily lives.

"It's nearly like they get going in a direction and just keep going, hoping that they're going to eventually find water that way", he said.

Fisheries officers were expected to return to the area Thursday, he said, but were delayed because of poor weather across Newfoundland.

Now that the seals are there, the town and the DFO have to decide what to do about them, and whether or not they should be - or can be - moved.

"Don't go up to them", he said.

"Seals are wild animals that can be unpredictable, and may become aggressive in order to protect themselves. So your best bet is to call your local fishery officer".

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