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Some seals stranded in Newfoundland town have been removed, officials say

Some seals stranded in Newfoundland town have been removed, officials say

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland and Labrador said they rescued a seal and returned it back to the sea but have warned people not to approach the animals "without proper equipment". But this week, that small Canadian town is on the map because of a different animal: the harp seal.

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

They might look a little out of place scooting down the streets of Roddickton-Bide Arm, but a Department of Fisheries and Oceans scientist says it's not unusual to see harp seals come ashore in Newfoundland this time of year. "People are there every day on snowmobiles stopping and looking at them, and the animals, they won't move from you".

The animals seem more lethargic now than when they first arrived in the town, she said, and appear to be travelling further out from the brooks, potentially in search of something to eat. "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". They bide their time on offshore ice floes as they feed and give birth. Fitzgerald said a plane from St. John's will fly over the area to assess the situation beyond the town once weather permits.

The disoriented seals, Stenson said, just keep on keeping on, hoping for the best.

"It's not a matter of the seals doing it on their own".

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Although harp seals are generally not aggressive, they will defend themselves if humans get too close.

Because it is illegal to interfere with marine mammals under Canadian law it has led to some awkward face offs with the unyielding seals.

On Wednesday, the DFO deployed a three-person seal response team to set up base in the town, according to the mayor. Walsh said those seals were believed to have been hit by a vehicle.

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

A seal is shown on a road in Roddickton, Nfld, .in a handout photo.

"It's heartbreaking to watch this", she adds.