This summer, the Montreal area has been the site of both miraculous marine mammal sightings and tragic stories. First,  our humpback whale, who hung out for days right in the Old Port, died tragically after colliding with a boat. Now a cute little seal spotted on the South Shore has also passed away.

The Réseau québécois d’urgences pour les mammifères marins (RQUMM) had been tracking the small hooded seal since July 24, but recently determined that it had to be euthanized because of "serious" illness, according to RQUMM spokesperson, Marie-Ève Muller.

It had the potential to be contagious, since [seals] can carry diseases contagious and dangerous to other mammals, including humans.

Marie-Ève Muller, RQUMM spokesperson

She was unable to confirm the disease(s) detected on the seal but added that the first year of a seal's life is always critical.

Only "one out of every two seals survives its first year," she said. "It's a crucial year for the development of the immune system and their autonomy."

It's not normal for these animals to be found in the metropolitan area, but "the lack of physical obstacles" causes these irregular movements, Muller explained.


This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.

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