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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Massad

Seal sighting in Île-Perrot


PHOTO: Johanne Gagnon


On Monday, March 27, at Notre-Dame-de-L'Île-Perrot a resident spotted and photographed a seal resting on a piece of ice. While this is a rarity in the region in 2020, a young bearded seal was observed in Laval. In 2013, a bearded seal took up residence in the marina of Sillery, in Quebec, in the middle of summer.

This West Island seal seemed to relax on the thin patch of ice still present. (Photo: Johanne Gagnon)


Although it is not customary for such a thing to happen, Patrick Weldon, supervisor at the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Network (RQUMM) indicates that this is not an isolated case.


“Although it is not common for seals to be sighted in the metropolitan area, seals regularly make appearances. Each year the RQUMM receives several reports of seals that have ventured upstream from the St. Lawrence estuary beyond their usual habitat,” explained Weldon.

The animal seemed to relax on the thin patch of ice, however, it is very far from its natural habitat.


“Several species of seals frequent the St. Lawrence seaway, and it sometimes happens that certain individuals, often young ones, venture further up the river,” said Weldon. Some species adapt quite well in freshwater, but as they find themselves in a different environment to which they are accustomed, it is important to adopt good cohabitation practices with these individuals. »


DO NOT DISTURB


According to the expert, it is essential not to try to approach.


“It is important to observe from a distance, to keep your distance (at least 100 meters) so that the seal can rest and move freely. I encourage people to report its presence to Marine Mammal Emergencies at 1-877-722-5346. A follow-up will be carried out. It is normal for a seal to come out of the water. Do not attempt to repel it with water or spray it. It is illegal to handle a seal, force it back into the water, or interact with it. Don't try to feed it. Its survival depends on its ability to feed itself on fresh prey. If you are on the water in a boat, be even more vigilant than usual to avoid colliding with the seal or getting too close to it. Seals can move quickly and be unpredictable. It is a powerful wild animal that can bite and transmit diseases. Keep dogs on a leash. A dog roaming freely is likely to approach the seal, which will increase its stress and cause aggressive reactions that could injure the seal or your pet. Seals and dogs can also transmit diseases."


Article source : Voix Régionale


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