Dozens of Seals Turn Up on Icy Streets in Canada. Here's Why

12 Janvier, 2019, 19:38 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • A seal is shown on a road in Roddickton N.L. in a handout

Images posted on social media by local Brendon Fitzpatrick show a number of the animals laying on the roads and on banks of snow, seemingly confused as to what to do.

As the days have dragged on and the fish in the town's brooks have become less plentiful, the seals have become more lethargic, Fitzgerald added.

On Wednesday, the DFO deployed a three-person seal response team to set up base in the town, according to the mayor.

Fisheries officers have been in town and are assessing the situation and investigating their options for the stranded seals, Stenson said.

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. The grayish-white animals blend in with snowy roads, the mayor told NPR, and two have already been hit by cars.

She says that the seals are common enough in the town that residents likely to encounter one when they leave for a walk or a drive. Sheila Fitzgerald said she has sought help from Canadian authorities to help the animals find their way back to the sea.

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A wandering seal that parked itself in front of a southern Newfoundland hospital entrance over the weekend has been returned to the water - twice.

"I don't see that there's any way that these seals are going to survive unless [DFO officers] pick them up and literally bring them back to the edge of the ice".

They have been blocking roads and doors to businesses, leaving locals exasperated, as interference with marine mammals is illegal under Canadian law.

But for many residents, the experience is also heartbreaking, she said.

"We understand it is very tempting to interact with these animals, but a seal is a wild animal", he said. He was also concerned that people might unwittingly get too close to the animals which he anxious might make the seals turn aggressive.

"It's kind of neat that Newfoundland is one of the few places where we're actually able to see these animals".

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