Seal's Glace Bay
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.”
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.