Dozens of Seals Turn Up on Icy Streets in Canada. Here's Why

Nellie Chapman
January 12, 2019

In yet another incident of freaky animal invasion, dozens of seals have descended upon the roads and the driveways of the town, creating an unfamiliar experience for the residents. Stenson said both seals were stuck by cars, something Fitzgerald said happened after several days of hearing about near misses from Roddickton residents.

They've been residents here now for one full week and it looks like they're not going anywhere real fast. "We are getting inundated with phone calls from people that are saying, 'You've gotta do something".

Fisheries officers have been in town and are assessing the situation and investigating their options for the stranded seals, Stenson said.

But this week, that small Canadian town is on the map because of a different animal: the harp seal. DFO has returned individual seals to open water in the past.

"They're looking around now to try and determine exactly how many seals are there, both in that area as well as in surrounding areas, and whereabouts they are", he said.

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This year, he says, limited ocean ice might be forcing the seals to settle for coastal ice, which increases their risk of stranding. Two seals have been struck by vehicles, Fitzgerald says.

"There's not enough food in that little water supply", she said.

The city authorities asked for help from the Canadian Government, so the Department of Fisheries and Oceans should step in and help save the seals.

Roddickton's mayor could not be reached for comment, but VOCM News reported Tuesday that the seal situation was to be addressed at the Roddickton-Bide Arm Town Council meeting on Tuesday night. He was also concerned that people might unwittingly get too close to the animals which he anxious might make the seals turn aggressive. 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.

"Don't go up to them", he said. "However, a seal is a wild animal that should not be approached or touched".

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