Officials rescue large grey seal stranded in popular Nova Scotia park

Click to play video: 'Large grey seal rescued from Shubie Park in Dartmouth'
Large grey seal rescued from Shubie Park in Dartmouth
WATCH ABOVE: Marine animal and emergency officials rescued a large grey seal stranded in a popular Nova Scotia park on Saturday. It’s still not clear how the 600-pound mammal ended up in an off-leash dog park, but it certainly got a lot of people’s attention – both in the park and online. Jesse Thomas has more – Jul 3, 2021

Officials spent much of Saturday trying to guide an errant grey seal back home after it made its way to Shubie Park in Dartmouth, N.S.

Those visiting the park — a popular spot for dog walkers — can usually expect to see birds and chipmunks, but it’s uncommon to see animals known for hanging out by the ocean.

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In a release, Halifax Regional Police said they received a call from a concerned citizen around 8 a.m. to the parking lot of the off-leash area of Shubie Park, where a “large, live seal” was found.

The large male seal, estimated to be about 600 pounds, ended up making its way onto the trail.  Pictures and videos posted to social media show the blubbery mammal trying to move around the forested terrain.

The seal is estimated to be about 600 pounds. Jesse Thomas/Global News

It’s unclear how the pinniped made its way to Shubie Park, which is located between Lake Micmac and Lake Charles.

Members of Halifax Regional Police, Halifax Fire, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Hope for Wildlife, the Marine Animal Response Society and conservation officers were at the scene Saturday as a group of onlookers watched them trying to keep the seal occupied.

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The seal was eventually loaded into a truck and was taken back to the ocean. Jesse Thomas/Global News

Police officers had to rope off a portion of the park to keep people away from the seal, who at times appeared agitated.

A veterinarian tranquilized the seal to subdue it and it was loaded into a Marine Animal Response Society truck around 2:30 p.m.

Police say the seal was safety transported back to the ocean.

Seal previously spotted

Earlier this week, there had been reports of a seal in the upper lakes of the Shubenacadie canal system, according to DFO spokesperson Luke Gaulton.

It’s assumed to have been the same seal that turned up in Shubie Park.

He said it’s important for people to know that if they encounter a seal, they shouldn’t disturb it.

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He said in addition to being a safety risk, it’s illegal to disturb a marine mammal under the Fisheries Act.

— With files from Jesse Thomas

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