Published: Fri, January 11, 2019

Newfoundland town asks for help as stranded seals block roads, cry out

Newfoundland town asks for help as stranded seals block roads, cry out

Police believe the seal deaths are not criminal and likely due to their having been struck by a auto.

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.

Roddickton-Bide Arm, a town of 999 people, has been swarmed by anywhere from 12 to 50 seals, Cpl.

Officers liaised with federal Fisheries officials to safely return the animal to "more isolated area on the peninsula, away from any community area".

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.

Roddickton-Bide Arm, on the island of Newfoundland, calls itself the "Moose Capital of the World".

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.


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

Garland said complaints about the situation have gone through the town.

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.

"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.

"Seals are wild animals that can be unpredictable, and may become aggressive in order to protect themselves". In yet another incident of freakish animal invasion, dozens of seals have descended upon the roads and the driveways of the town, creating an unfamiliar experience for the residents.

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

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

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