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DFO reminds public not to disturb marine mammals following seal rescue

The harbour seal as DFO officials picked it up at the beach in St. Vincent's, NL.
The harbour seal as DFO officials picked it up at the beach in St. Vincent's, NL.

ST. VINCENT'S - The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is reminding people not to get involved too much when they encounter sick or injured marine mammals.

This comes after someone rescued a harbour seal in the Southern Shore community of St. Vincent’s. The person in question apparently thought the seal looked hungry.

According to a DFO spokeswoman, the department received several calls about the incident. The rescuer was contacted and told to bring the seal back to the beach. After monitoring the seal pup over the weekend, it was determined the seal was orphaned, though the department isn’t certain whether that was the case when the rescuer first intervened.

DFO seal researcher Garry Stenson and Jennifer Keyte, director of animal care services at Memorial University, have since arranged for the Hope for Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Seaforth, Nova Scotia, to take the seal. The facility already has three other harbour seal pups it’s rehabilitating.

Staff at the centre named the seal Glennic after DFO fisheries officers Glenn Temple and Nicole Hefferan-Snow, who monitored the seal this past weekend.

According to DFO, people should always contact a local DFO office and never consider intervening when it comes to the welfare of a marine mammal. It’s not unusual for young seals to be out on their own. If left alone, they will typically get back in the water.

This comes after someone rescued a harbour seal in the Southern Shore community of St. Vincent’s. The person in question apparently thought the seal looked hungry.

According to a DFO spokeswoman, the department received several calls about the incident. The rescuer was contacted and told to bring the seal back to the beach. After monitoring the seal pup over the weekend, it was determined the seal was orphaned, though the department isn’t certain whether that was the case when the rescuer first intervened.

DFO seal researcher Garry Stenson and Jennifer Keyte, director of animal care services at Memorial University, have since arranged for the Hope for Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Seaforth, Nova Scotia, to take the seal. The facility already has three other harbour seal pups it’s rehabilitating.

Staff at the centre named the seal Glennic after DFO fisheries officers Glenn Temple and Nicole Hefferan-Snow, who monitored the seal this past weekend.

According to DFO, people should always contact a local DFO office and never consider intervening when it comes to the welfare of a marine mammal. It’s not unusual for young seals to be out on their own. If left alone, they will typically get back in the water.

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