Tuesday, 25 June, 2019


Some seals trapped by ice removed from beleaguered town, officials say

Seals have been turning up on the roads and other places they don't belong in Roddickton Seals have been turning up on the roads and other places they don't belong in Roddickton
Bennie Garza | 11 January, 2019, 19:59

Sheila Fitzgerald, the mayor of the Atlantic coastal town, also expressed concern for the well-being of the harp seals.

Brendon Fitzpatrick, the mayor of nearby Conche, has been documenting the stuck seals on Twitter.

A group of 40 of the animals travelling together is not unusual, Stenson said - he's seen groups with as few as six seals and as many as a thousand.

He said the department receives calls about stranded seals every year, but he said the number of animals in Roddickton poses a different problem.

The animals seem more lethargic now than when they first arrived in the town, she said, and appear to be travelling further out from the brooks, potentially in search of something to eat. "It's really disheartening for people to watch these animals suffer". "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".

The disoriented seals, Stenson said, just keep on keeping on, hoping for the best.

"Then if the ice freezes up behind them, they have a harder time getting access to water", he said. Two seals were killed after being hit by a vehicle.

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 risky to approach or attempt to capture animals without proper equipment".

"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 Roddickton-Bide Arm town council raised the issue at a regular municipal meeting Tuesday night, and resolved to ask the Department of Fisheries and Ocean to intervene.

The wayward animals have been blocking roads, driveways and doors in Roddickton, N.L. - and residents are unable to move them because it is illegal to touch marine mammals. "However, a seal is a wild animal that should not be approached or touched".

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