Seal's Glace Bay

va­ca­tion ends.

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY SHARON MONTGOMERY-DUPE smon­tog­mery@cb­post.com

It looks like the va­ca­tion has ended for a harp seal vis­it­ing Glace Bay.

A man who has been keep­ing his eye on the seal since it was spot­ted on the ice at Glace Bay har­bour Satur­day, said he saw the seal go into the wa­ter on Wed­nes­day morn­ing and as of mid-af­ter­noon, it had not resur­faced.

“It’s ab­so­lutely won­der­ful news, I hope he has found his way,” said the man, who did not want to be iden­ti­fied.

Tonya Wim­mer, direc­tor of the Marine An­i­mal Re­sponse So­ci­ety, said the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans Canada was con­tacted to check on the seal and as­sess its con­di­tion.

She said they re­ceived a lot of re­sponse from the pub­lic af­ter the seal story was pub­lished in the Cape Breton Post on Tues­day.

“Peo­ple called for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons but all were con­cerned for the an­i­mal and what was go­ing to hap­pen to him.”

She said there were also posts to the so­ci­ety’s Face­book page in­clud­ing a photo of the seal with a cut on its cheek.

“I don’t think it was any­thing ma­jor, there were a few drops of fresh blood on the ice, but we asked DFO if they’d as­sess his sit­u­a­tion.”

Wim­mer said the salt wa­ter is great for heal­ing such cuts.

She said DFO con­tacted her Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon to re­port they re­sponded to the har­bour and the seal was gone.

“The lit­tle crit­ter is now prob­a­bly happy some­where out there, chow­ing down on some fish.”

The seal also gar­nered at­ten­tion from the pub­lic in Glace Bay.

Ear­lier, a Marine An­i­mal Re­sponse So­ci­ety of­fi­cial viewed a photo of the seal and said it looked healthy and ap­peared to be rest­ing, adding it’s not un­usual for a seal to haul it­self out of the wa­ter for up to a week of rest.

The uniden­ti­fied man who has been ob­serv­ing the seal said he saw it mov­ing for the first time Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

“He was mo­bile and noisy,” he said.

The man had been con­cerned the seal wasn’t ear­ing and pur­chased had­dock fil­lets for it but he said the an­i­mal didn’t show any in­ter­est in the food.

Wim­mer said it was great to hear the seal was lively and mak­ing noises.

“The noise was warn­ing peo­ple to keep away, like any wild an­i­mal will do.”

She said the man who bought fish for the seal ob­vi­ously did it for rea­sons of con­cern, but seals don’t tend to eat dead fish only live fish.

She said they’ve had seals on beaches for days or a week be­fore they leave.

“When they are hun­gry they will go look­ing to feed.”

She said de­spite the pub­lic’s con­cern, they must re­mem­ber

“Peo­ple called for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons but all were con­cerned for the an­i­mal and what was go­ing to hap­pen to him.” Tonya Wim­mer, direc­tor of the Marine An­i­mal Re­sponse So­ci­ety

that seals are wild an­i­mals and do bite.

“It’s so won­der­ful we never want to dis­cour­age (pub­lic at­ten­tion), we just want to make sure that peo­ple and the an­i­mal are both safe, that’s the high­est pri­or­ity.”

Wim­mer said it wouldn’t be un­usual for peo­ple to see more seals in the next few weeks as it is the time of year when seals have their pups.

Wim­mer said al­though Fish­eries and Oceans Canada has ju­ris­dic­tion over marine an­i­mals, many or­ga­ni­za­tions and levels of govern­ment jump in when needed.

“”When there are in­ci­dents wher­ever it is peo­ple will help es­pe­cially with live an­i­mals.”

SHARON MONTGOMERY-DUPE/CAPE BRETON POST

A harp seal is shown rest­ing on the ice in Glace Bay har­bour ear­lier this week. It ap­pears as if the seal, which at­tracted the pub­lic’s at­ten­tion, has left the area.

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