Hundreds of dead juvenile seals have washed up on shores in Cape Breton and near Halifax in recent days.
What natural occurrence could have caused so many seals to wash up at once?
While thousands of birds are currently dropping dead from the sky in Europe, hundreds of young seal carcasses were found on beaches and in front of properties along the shore in Cape Breton and Sambro, N.S., just outside Halifax last week.
Most of the seals were within about 10 metres of each other. The sight is “mysterious.”
What natural occurrence could have caused so many seals to wash up at once? It wasn’t so much fear, it was more curiosity.
Mostly all appear to be harp seals. They have been born further north, so it’s likely they’re washing in from up north.
The flesh from the head and upper torso has been removed from many of the seals, but the skull is still attached or sometimes found nearby.
Here a video showing a few of those hundred dead seals in Nova Scotia:
Necropsies will be conducted to try to determine the cause of death.
Carcasses are being frozen, as the work can not be performed at this time because of the CV pandemic.
What are the existing theories?
- The pack ice, where the seals are born, could have shifted and crushed the young seals.
- Other animals such as Greenland sharks or grey seals could have preyed upon them.
However, it doesn’t appear the seals were killed as part of a seal hunt, as their skulls are intact and have not been crushed.