Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Interlopers stuck in Canadian town as exit sealed off

Interlopers stuck in Canadian town as exit sealed off

The small Canadian town of Roddickton-Bide Arm is teeming with dozens of seals that have wandered inland after winter weather cut off their access to the ocean.

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.

An RCMP spokesperson said it appears two of the animals were struck by a vehicle on Tuesday night.

Sheila Fitzgerald, the town's mayor, said roughly 40 stranded seals were seen by residents, the Chicago Sun Times reported.

Shared images on social networks show seals stuck on roads and snow-covered places.

Fitzgerald says residents will be able to call in seal sightings and have officials transport the animals back out to safety.

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.

But the town couldn't exactly take matters into its own hands. Fitzgerald said more should be done to protect the animals and return them to their habitat. Every year, some harp seals are stranded in the area while migrating from the Arctic to the southern areas.

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

"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.

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. "This is hard for the little seals, because nobody wants to see animals hurt - but it's also hard for the town". Yet the sight of seals crawling down the streets of the Great Northern Peninsula town is most unusual and has left some locals concerned.

Like this: