Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Fisheries officers to deal with seals invading northern Newfoundland town

Fisheries officers to deal with seals invading northern Newfoundland town

Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald told local media that about 40 seals have invaded Roddickton, "They came in with the high tide and now they are trapped because the ice formed behind them".

The DFO is working on a plan for the seals, including determining exactly where they're located and how many are in the area.

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

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.

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Now that the seals are there, the town and the DFO have to decide what to do about them, and whether or not they should be - or can be - moved.

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

She says that the seals are common enough in the town that residents likely to encounter one when they leave for a walk or a drive. Most of the sightings appear to have been around bodies of water, but police could become engaged if they receive a report of the seals causing legitimate danger.

Mr Fitzpatrick said the seals had been stranded for "a few weeks" and were "probably starving", having become lost some four or five miles from the ocean.

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"It's hard for motorists, and nobody wants to see these little seals hit in our community".

"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. Fitzgerald said a plane from St. John's will fly over the area to assess the situation beyond the town once weather permits. Some of the seals have been removed according to DFO, and they say they will continue to do so where possible, while ensuring the safety of residents, the officers and the animals. This one on the Burin Peninsula was brought back to open water this week.

"We understand it is very tempting to interact with these animals, but a seal is a wild animal", he said. So enjoy the unusual site of a group of them this nearby, Stenson said, but do it from a distance.

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