A bearded seal — usually found in the Arctic — was spotted at a marina in Laval Tuesday, jumping out of the water to relax on a floating dock.
It’s the first time a bearded seal has been recorded in the region. Marine mammal experts are asking boaters in the area to be extra careful.
Posters have been put up around the marina, asking visitors to stay at least 50 metres from the animal and not to feed it.
“We really need to be careful if we go on the water to be sure to be extra vigilant, to be extra careful and aware of the presence of this unusual visitor,” Marie-Ève Muller of the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network said on CBC Montreal’s Daybreak Thursday.
“If we see the seal on the dock, it’s really important to let the seal rest.”
A video of the seal has been widely shared on a popular Montreal Facebook page.
The seal’s appearance comes after a humpback whale made its way along the St. Lawrence River to the Montreal region about a month ago.
It was later found dead after an apparent ship strike.