Dozens of Seals Were Trapped Ashore in a City in Canada

Dozens of Seals Were Trapped Ashore in a City in Canada

Dozens of Seals Were Trapped Ashore in a City in Canada

Two of the seals have been killed by a vehicle and the rest may starve if they are not returned to the ocean in time.

Two of the animals in the town of Roddickton-Bide Arm in Newfoundland have been killed after they were hit by cars.Despite further concerns that some seals may starve to death as they are cut-off from the water and a supply of food, it is against Canadian law for individuals to interfere with marine mammals like seals.

"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", Fitzgerald said.

"It's not a matter of the seals doing it on their own".

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DFO is continuing to monitor the situation in Roddickton-Bide Arm where dozens of seals have collected in recent days.

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". "If they could, they would have", Fitzgerald said.

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.

Having the officers in town is a relief, Fitzgerald said, because they can respond much more quickly when a seal ends up by a home or business, or if one gets on a roadway. "It could potentially impact people's health and well-being", she said. "Nobody wants to see any animal suffer".

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The province's seal harvest is highly regulated, requiring a licence and specific tools for humanely harvesting the animals.

"Then if the ice freezes up behind them, they have a harder time getting access to water", he said.

Earlier this week, federal officials and the RCMP returned a rogue seal to the ocean after it appeared twice in populated areas on Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula - in one case, blocking a hospital entrance.

- By Holly McKenzie-Sutter in St. John's, N.L.

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