An image of a captured seal provided by local policeCopyright of the image
Marystown RCMP

Legend

More than 40 seals stranded in the town of Roddickton-Bide Arm in Newfoundland

Dozens of seals stranded in a Canadian city, blocking traffic and the entrances to homes and businesses.

Two of Roddickton-Bide Arm's animals in Newfoundland died after being hit by a car. There are worries that others will starve.

It is prohibited by Canadian law to interfere with marine mammals such as seals.

The creatures found themselves stranded after the nearby waters suddenly froze last week, preventing their return to the ocean.

Experts say the speed at which the bay froze may have disoriented the animals and pushed them to move inland instead of open waters.

Images posted on social media show seals stranded on roads and large snow banks.

"We really feel like we are inundated," City Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald told CBC News.

"There are seals on the road, seals in alleys, backyards, car parks, doors, shops."

There is a growing fear that animals will starve unless they are taken to the sea by wildlife officers.

"They are pitiful to look at, they have not eaten," said Mayor Fitzgerald.

"They are 4 or 5 miles from the ocean and they are probably starving," another witness wrote on Twitter.

The city council has asked for help from the Canadian government and it is hoped that officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) will now intervene to rescue them.

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Roddickton-Bide Arm is on a major migration route for seals and locals are used to seeing these creatures.

Tuesday, police said that they had safely returned a seal to the ocean but warned not to approach them.

"[They] may seem to be friendly in nature, [but] it is very dangerous to approach or attempt to capture animals without proper equipment, "reads Facebook.