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giftedviz.com January 19, 2019


Newfoundland town asks for help as stranded seals block roads, cry out

12 January 2019, 07:40 | Darnell Patrick

A seal is shown on a road in Roddickton N.L. in a handout

A seal is shown on a road in Roddickton N.L. in a handout

"We've seen them in people's backyards, people's driveways, along the sides of the roads, in the doorways and entryways to local businesses, parking lots", Roddickton-Bide Arm Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald told CBC.

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

It is against Canadian law to interfere with marine mammals such as seals.

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.

Shared images on social networks show seals stuck on roads and snow-covered places.

Police believe the seal deaths are not criminal and likely due to their having been struck by a auto.

Harp seals spend most of their time in open water or on floating ice, and they usually swim away from land.

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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.

Because the mammals are not used to swimming under solid ice, Stenson said the seals most likely traveled inland and are now hanging out around the town. "This is hard for the little seals, because nobody wants to see animals hurt - but it's also hard for the town".

However, Stenson said that harp seals are accustomed to going for stretches without feeding, and at this time of year should have built up their energy reserves in preparation for breeding. The vast majority of the seals that are killed are between one and three months old.

A spokesperson for the RCMP said officers responded to a complaint Wednesday morning, and on arriving at the scene, they found employees from Department of Fisheries and Oceans were there as well. Moving a larger number of animals is a little trickier. This one on the Burin Peninsula was brought back to open water this week.

The seals in Roddickton appear to be older animals, Stenson said.

Stenson is confident the seals will eventually get their bearings, but until they do he said people should keep their distance - don't go in for any seal selfies.



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