Interlopers stuck in Canadian town as exit sealed off

Interlopers stuck in Canadian town as exit sealed off

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.

The mayor wants to see a plan put in place to remove the seals which she says won't be able to make it the 5 miles or so to the ice edge and into the ocean.

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

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.

He said the department receives calls about stranded seals every year, but he said the number of animals in Roddickton poses a different problem.

"We're seeing them more lethargic, they're not moving as fast", she told the Northern Pen newspaper.

Fitzgerald said the town's council has asked the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to rescue the seals.

This year, he says, limited ocean ice might be forcing the seals to settle for coastal ice, which increases their risk of stranding. "These seals - as cute as they are - can't stay as residents in our village because there's not a food supply through the winter".

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"This has gone on long enough", Fitzgerald said, opining that if a whale had been stranded, federal officials in Canada might have reacted more quickly.

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

"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.

"Seals are wild animals that can be unpredictable, and may become aggressive in order to protect themselves".

Residents have expressed concern the seals may be hurt by curious onlookers or by wandering into roads, but people are in a bind because it is against the law to touch or move the animals.

It is illegal in Canada to interfere with marine mammals.

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

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