Tiny town overrun with ‘cute’ but confused seals

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

"There's not a lot of ice off the northeast coast this year, so they've probably moved up the inlet looking to see what was there for food", he said.

The mayor of a Newfoundland town where dozens of seals are causing havoc says federal fisheries officials need to step in. 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.

Stenson said fisheries officers were there Wednesday to further examine the area around the community.

They are asking residents to contact their officer or Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-8477) if they see a seal on a roadway or are aware of people disturbing seals.

An icy town in Newfoundland is dealing with some surprise visitors: a pod of around 40 harp seals.

Harp seals spend most of their time in open water or on floating ice, and they usually swim away from land.

Fitzgerald said the group of about 40 harp seals is becoming hungry, exhausted and are crying out, suggesting they may be too disoriented to find their way back to the ocean.

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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.

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

"For animals to be going into bays and then to be caught up by the freeze is not that common, though it's happened before", said Stenson. Sheila Fitzgerald said she has sought help from Canadian authorities to help the animals find their way back to the sea. "This is hard for the little seals, because nobody wants to see animals hurt - but it's also hard for the town". This one on the Burin Peninsula was brought back to open water this week.

While Stenson does not believe the seals will face any serious health issues from being stranded in the town, two seals have already been found dead.

"Seals are wild animals that can be unpredictable, and may become aggressive in order to protect themselves". He was also concerned that people might unwittingly get too close to the animals which he anxious might make the seals turn aggressive.

"Don't go up to them", he said.

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