Canada: Over 400 Grey Seals Found Dead Off Cape Breton Coast, Baffled Officials Claim ‘No Reason For Alarm’
The seal carcasses, some without eyes from scavenging seagulls and other wildlife, are on the beaches of Hay Island, a short distance from Scatarie Island.
Federal fisheries department seal biologist Mike Hammill said the mammals showed no sign of physical trauma other than the wounds inflicted by predators after death.
‘They weren’t killed by people, so it’s something else that’s come along,’ he said from Charlottetown following a tour of the island Sunday.
‘The majority of them are weaned pups and they look in fairly good shape. They’re fat, didn’t seem to have any external markings on them.’
Parts of the seals were taken for testing to the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown. Hammill said it could be weeks before a possible cause of death is identified.
The group of DFO scientists counted about 100 to 200 live adults and about a dozen juvenile seals.
Hammill confirmed the approximate number of dead seals that was initially reported by Humane Society International/Canada on Friday.
In a release, the group’s executive director Rebecca Aldworth said she hadn’t seen ‘this kind of mortality’ in apparently healthy grey seals in her five trips to the island’s seal colony.” Read more.