Canada Problems: Harp seals swarm Newfoundland town

They may look cute, but they have become unwelcome house guests.

One community on the northern peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador is dealing with dozens of harp seals that wandered up from sea more than a week ago and became stranded in town by a sudden freeze.

Now, the ocean is 6- to 8-kilometres away, the seals are confused and probably pretty hungry.

They are also blocking roads, driveways and two have been hit and killed by cars.

Residents in Roddickton-Bide Arm, including its mayor, have asked the federal government to intervene.

“People are disheartened by everything that’s happening,” Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald told NTV News.

Meanwhile, locals have been documenting the unusual sight.

Including Brendon FitzPatrick who has had a ringside seat to the seal show.

And has been sharing his concerns online.

The animals really are everywhere.

And not exactly easy to avoid.

So finally, on Thursday Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed it has stepped in.

Sort of.

But far away on the other side of the province, Mounties have dealt with one troublesome seal.

The RCMP in Marystown returned one seal to the water after a  recent “trek through the community.”

Mounties were called Jan. 5 after a seal made its way to the front doors of the Burin Peninsula Hospital. The animal was placed back in the water.

But next day, Burin Peninsula RCMP received another call reporting the seal was back on the roadway and making its way into the community of Burin Bay Arm.

Police scooped up the seal, placed it in the back of their truck, and with the help of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the seal was released at a more isolated area on the peninsula.

“The RCMP and DFO 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,” Mounties said. “It is very dangerous to approach or attempt to capture animals without proper equipment.”

 Cute, but not exactly cuddly.

So while it’s tempting, don’t try to help.

Main photo RCMP Newfoundland and Labrador/Facebook


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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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