Seals Are Stranded in a Canadian Town, and People Wonder What to Do

LONDON — The intruders arrived in the course of the evening with the wind and excessive tide. By the morning of Jan. three, it appeared just like the little Canadian city had been overrun.

Seals, dozens of them. Seals on the seashore, seals on streets and driveways, seals in parks and backyards.

More than a week later, they’re nonetheless there in Roddickton-Bide Arm, a distant little city on the island of Newfoundland, the mayor, Sheila Fitzgerald, stated on Friday.

And it has develop into clear that the animals, hungry and distressed, are stranded, unable to discover their method again to the ocean.

There are at least 40 seals in and around Roddickton-Bide Arm, population 999, the mayor said, and possibly many more.

Officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are in the town, on Newfoundland’s mountainous and sparsely populated Great Northern Peninsula, to assess the number of animals and find a strategy to help them get back to sea.

The situation is less than ideal for the people as well as the animals. The seals’ silver-gray fur makes them blend in with the color of icy roads that are dusted with sand in the winter months.

People try to avoid them, but two of the seals have died, run over by vehicles. And wildlife experts have warned that, like dogs, the seals can get aggressive when scared, and bite.

Harp seals, millions of which live in and around the far north Atlantic and Arctic, are known for their pups, whose white coats help them blend in with snow and ice.

Ordinarily, the people of Roddickton-Bide Arms have no problem with the creatures, but now they are ready to get back to their traditional wildlife boast, that the town is the “Moose Capital of the World.”

“We’re ready for them to move on,” Ms. Fitzgerald said. “Right now the whole of the talk is about seals.”

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