Dozens Of Stranded Seals Flounder In Canadian Town

Canadian town suffers seal invasion

Roddickton-Bide Arm, which is located in Newfoundland and Labrador, reported that the cuddly visitors have swarmed the community, prompting residents to take action to help them.

While the rescue plays out, the seals are still put at risk by what turns out to be dangerously effective urban camouflage: Their coats blend right in with the snow and sanded roads.

Fisheries officers have been in town and are assessing the situation and investigating their options for the stranded seals, Stenson said. According to experts, the speed at which the bay froze may have disoriented the seals and made them move in the opposite direction of the waters.

One local resident, Brendan Fitzpatrick, who usually tweets pictures about hunting and of scenes around the town, has begun calls on social media for Canada's federal Fisheries Department to intervene.

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But having this many seals get lost for this long is unprecedented, she said.

"We would like to remind people that it is illegal to disturb a marine mammal and human interaction can disturb an animal's normal life processes and can result in injury or death of the animal", it added. Every year, some harp seals are stranded in the area while migrating from the Arctic to the southern areas.

"These seals - as cute as they are - can't stay as residents in our village because there's not a food supply through the winter".

This year, he says, limited ocean ice might be forcing the seals to settle for coastal ice, which increases their risk of stranding.

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Police say the animal crossed highways, moved through traffic and posed a "public safety issue" on Saturday before being spotted outside the Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre, where it blocked an ambulance route.

"It's hard for motorists, and nobody wants to see these little seals hit in our community". Yet the sight of seals crawling down the streets of the Great Northern Peninsula town is most unusual and has left some locals concerned.

In Newfoundland, the province's seal harvest is highly regulated, requiring a license and special tools for humanely harvesting the animals. Two seals have been struck by vehicles, Fitzgerald says.

"We understand it is very tempting to interact with these animals, but a seal is a wild animal", he said.

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