IFAW Canada: Landed on P.E.I. Looking for Seal Pup Survivors.

We have arrived in Prince Edward Island, Canada to look for harp seals and prepare for the 2010 commercial seal hunt. This year is reported to be the worst ice year on record and as we flew into our base in Charlottetown, PEI we confirmed there was virtually no ice in the southern gulf of St. Lawrence.

This post was filed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Sheryl Fink, who is currently in P.E.I., Canada observing the worst ice conditions on record and looking for seal survivors.

Hunt-3-22053 We have arrived in Prince Edward Island, Canada to look for harp seals and prepare for the 2010 commercial seal hunt. This year is reported to be the worst ice year on record and as we flew into our base in Charlottetown, PEI we confirmed there was virtually no ice in the southern gulf of St. Lawrence. There were just a few small ice pans (about the size of a coffee table) pushed up along the beaches in some areas, but nothing like we usually experience. In normal years, we'll see vast areas of frozen sea ice, and pans large and strong enough to land a helicopter on. Usually, we can walk out on the ice and right up to the baby harp seals that are resting on them -- but not this year. Since harp seals are usually associated with the ice edge, with no ice, we didn't expect to find any seals.

A few days ago, we heard reports of something strange happening. Live whitecoat harp seal pups were being found on the shores of Prince Edward Island. We are heading out this morning by van to see if we can find any animals. Some of our experienced staff here at IFAW have been observing seals and the seal hunt for nearly a decade, and have never actually encountered baby harp seals on land before. This is just one of the elements that will make this year's observation unlike any other. Off to find some land-lubbing seals….

For more information, please visit http://www.ifaw.org/seals

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