Young hooded seal makes unusual visit to Montreal waters

A young hooded seal is making its presence felt in waters around Montreal.

Seal spotted in Old Port, off La Ronde, and photographed at Longueuil Marina

The young seal that visited Montreal waters is believed to be healthy and is expected to return to more familiar surroundings if it survives. (Radio-Canada)

A young hooded seal is making its presence felt in waters around Montreal.

The curious animal is believed to be about a year old, which could explain its appearance in waters outside the normal range of seals.

“Young animals lack a bit of experience,” Josiane Cabana, spokeswoman for the Quebec emergency network for sea mammals, told Radio-Canada.

The seal has been spotted on three occasions.

  • In the Old Port last week.
  • At the Longueuil Marina on Monday.
  • By La Ronde on Tuesday.

Cabana said it’s not likely that the animal is lost or in difficulty.

A network volunteer who has seen the seal says it appears healthy.

It’s not unusual for sea mammals to make it to Montreal — another seal was spotted last year near the city’s Old Port and a beluga was spotted the year before.

A minke whale even made it to Repentigny, just east of Montreal, a few years ago.

“Seals are animals that travel and explore,” Cabana said.

She said the seal population in the St. Lawrence is booming, which may be leading some of them further inland.

If that’s the case, the appearance of seals in Montreal waters could become a more frequent occurrence, she said.

Cabana cautioned it’s illegal to feed or otherwise approach wild mammals like seals.

The young hooded seal climbed up on a dock at the Longueuil Marina in Quebec on Monday. (CBC)