A P.E.I. couple's dog drowned recently when it was surrounded by seals that wouldn't let it come back to shore.
Chris MacLeod and his fiancée Mary MacDonald always take their dogs to the same beach in eastern Prince Edward Island, just west of the Wood Islands ferry.
On Aug. 27 one of their dogs, Dipstick, swam into the water. MacLeod said seals surrounded his dog, and stopped her from coming back to shore. MacDonald made an effort to swim out and clear a path for the dog, but failed.
"The seals were actually meeting Mary, and not letting her, more or less, go any farther and Mary was kind of scared," said MacLeod.
"They were swimming around and they'd come out of the water and splash down. Like, I've never seen seals do this. Who's to say they wouldn't do this to a kid swimming out around?"
After about two hours, the dog drowned.
Pierre-Yves Daoust, a marine mammal specialist at UPEI, said seals are curious creatures and that might explain their behaviour.
"It's not unusual for them to investigate something that appears unusual in the water without really meaning any more than that," said Daoust.
"I can imagine seals coming to a dog and circling around and nibbling at its feet that are just dangling in the water."
Daoust said seals eat only fish, and almost never attack humans or dogs.