The mayor of a Newfoundland town where dozens of seals are causing havoc says federal fisheries officials need to step in.
Police believe the seal deaths are not criminal and likely due to their having been struck by a auto.
Stenson said fisheries officers were there Wednesday to further examine the area around the community.
Experts have said the rapid rate at which the waters froze could have disoriented the seals which is why they can now be observed heading inland.
Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie says DFO must do something about the overabundance of seals in the region.
However, it's feeding season for the Harp seal, and he believes they traveled into a bay that surrounds Roddickton to feed when ice froze behind them, leaving them trapped.
She says that the seals are common enough in the town that residents likely to encounter one when they leave for a walk or a drive.
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They have been blocking roads and doors to businesses, leaving locals exasperated, as interference with marine mammals is illegal under Canadian law. DFO has returned individual seals to open water in the past.
This year, he says, limited ocean ice might be forcing the seals to settle for coastal ice, which increases their risk of stranding.
However, Stenson said that harp seals are accustomed to going for stretches without feeding, and at this time of year should have built up their energy reserves in preparation for breeding.
Sheila Fitzgerald, the town's mayor, said roughly 40 stranded seals were seen by residents, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
Seals on the town's roads are a particular concern, she said, after two were found dead yesterday. This one on the Burin Peninsula was brought back to open water this week.
To date, the seals haven't been able to find their way back. "This is hard for the little seals, because nobody wants to see animals hurt - but it's also hard for the town".
The seals in Roddickton appear to be older animals, Stenson said. So enjoy the unusual site of a group of them this nearby, Stenson said, but do it from a distance.