Canadian town 'inundated' with dozens of stranded seals

Police returned this seal to the sea after giving it a lift in the back of a truck. Pic Royal Canadian Mounted Police

"There's seals on the road, there's seals in people's driveways, the backyards, the parking lots, the doorways, the businesses", she added.

On Tuesday, the police said they had safely returned a seal to the ocean but warned against approaching them. Sheila Fitzgerald said she has sought help from Canadian authorities to help the animals find their way back to the sea.

"They're pitiful to look at".

A harp seal lies on a road in Roddickton-Bide Arm on Friday.

"It wouldn't be a surprise to me if the Roddickton detachment were to get a call, for example say, if there was a herd of seals blocking the roadway", Garland said.

Roddickton-Bide Arm is about 450 kilometres northwest of St. John's as the crow flies, near the northern tip of the island.

In Roddickton's case, Stenson said it appears the seals have wandered too far from the ocean and have become disoriented.

"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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"They really don't know which way to go".

An icy town in Newfoundland is dealing with some surprise visitors: a pod of around 40 harp seals.

"It's nearly like they get going in a direction and just keep going, hoping that they're going to eventually find water that way", he said. An aerial reconnaissance mission to determine the size of the ice and the stranded pod has also been discussed, a plan the DFO says has been hampered by bad weather.

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.

"But generally, if they're just lying on a beach or on a slipway or that sort of thing, you just leave them on their own".

The seals also bite, and Fitzgerald said she is anxious about children getting too close. So enjoy the unusual site of a group of them this nearby, Stenson said, but do it from a distance.

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

Local officials had been in touch with the DFO, which sent officers to the village.

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