HOLTWOOD, PA – This weekends warm weather brought a welcome surprise for Susquehanna River enthusiasts. Than annual return of Susquehanna Seals came early this year with seals being spotted around the Holtwood Dam.
“I was walking around the shoreline and I thought I saw a dog coming out of the water. I was shocked to see it was a seal.” said Lancaster resident Bill Sealy.
The river migration of seals usually doesn’t happen until mid to late April. But according to POL Biologist Earl Sneed warm weather due to global warming has their migrations happening earlier each year.
“This damned warm weather has them coming earlier and earlier every year. Fortunately, the annual orcas which also migrate to lay their eggs are also adapting to the shift in climate.” explained Sneed.
Susquehanna Seals migrate up the Susquehanna every spring to birth and rear their pups. And on their flippers are orcas which feed on the seals and lay their eggs in Susquehanna estuaries.
Despite rising seal numbers the Pennsylvania Game Commission is not yet ready to allow hunting.
According to Sneed, “The seals are gentle but you should keep a safe distance when they have their pups.”