When a quirk of nature stranded dozens of harp seals in a small Newfoundland town, Outliers knew it was inevitable. One tried to make its way into the local hospital.
The Facebook page for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland and Labrador proclaimed: “Seal safely returned to sea after trek through community.”
On their own site, the Mounties wrote they “received a call from the general public reporting a seal had made its way from the water and was near the front doors of the Burin Peninsula Hospital. Police attended and safely removed the seal and returned it to a nearby open area of water.”
The seal invasion of Roddickton-Bide Arm, which bills itself as “Moose Capital of the World,” came as they migrated south and were stranded by a wider than usual expanse of sea ice that made it difficult for them to return to the water. So the bewhiskered mammals waddled their way inland. They were spotted all over the town of about 1,000, wobbling along roads, and roaming into backyards, parking lots and the nearby woods.
Laws against disturbing marine mammals had the locals wondering how to help.
Finally the mayor took action. “I think a week's stay at the all-inclusive resort here in Roddickton-Bide Arm is long enough,” Sheila Fitzgerald told the CBC. “It's time for them to move back to the wild and have a long winter, happily eating fish from the ocean.” Soon employees of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were called in to help move the seals back to the sea.