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Canadian town 'inundated' with dozens of stranded seals

Canadian town 'inundated' with dozens of stranded seals”

A coastal town in Newfoundland, Canada, is struggling with some unusual invaders - seals.

"They've been saying let nature take its course, but it's been nearly a week", she said.

"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".

Residents are unable to move them because it's illegal to touch marine mammals, but a pair of seals were struck by cars on Tuesday.

The seal saga on the Northern Peninsula continues, with an estimated 40 seals remaining in and around Roddickton and fisheries officers in town trying decide on the best plan of action.

The BBC reported that the animals became stuck in Roddickton-Bide Arm after the town's bay and surrounding water froze over. "People are there every day on snowmobiles stopping and looking at them, and the animals, they won't move from you".

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".

"They're getting a little bit more lazy now, a little more exhausted and lethargic", Fitzgerald says. Most of the sightings appear to have been around bodies of water, but police could become engaged if they receive a report of the seals causing legitimate danger.

"This has gone on long enough", Fitzgerald said, opining that if a whale had been stranded, federal officials in Canada might have reacted more quickly.

The town's roads are sanded now, to deal with ice and snow at this time of year, and the seals' light pelts blend in, she said - especially at dusk and dawn.

Although harp seals are generally not aggressive, they will defend themselves if humans get too close.

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

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



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