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Paul and Heather make some furry friends

March 2, 2006
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Britain's most celebrated rock star is better-known for his association with The Beatles than furry residents of the Arctic Circle, but that did nothing to curb Paul McCartney's enthusiasm when he paid a visit to Canada this week.

The legendary singer and his wife Heather Mills got up close and personal with some baby seals after jetting into the Gulf of St Lawrence on Thursday. With a group of photographers and animal rights campaigners in tow, the A-list couple travelled to the freezing ice floes of the northern Atlantic in a bid to save its seal cubs from hunters.

In order to reach their destination the pair had to undertake a gruelling journey, flying first to the city of Halifax, before catching a smaller plane to Prince Edward Island and then a helicopter to the icy wilderness. But once they had arrived the two, who were both dressed in bright orange snow suits, wasted no time in getting down on their bellies for an encounter with some newborn Harp Seals.

Heather might have been forgiven for expecting a warmer welcome from the furry creatures, though. The first pup she tried to say hello to was obviously unaware of her good intentions, as it tried to bite her hand, forcing her to withdraw it quickly.

Afterwards Sir Paul appealed to Canada's political leaders to put an end to the cull, which sees around 300,000 seals killed each year. The 63-year-old argued that the hunt could easily be stopped without doing harm to the region's fishermen. "We don't want to see the local people suffer," he said. "But, from what we hear, (seal hunting accounts for) quite a small amount of their annual revenue and this could be easily sorted out by the Canadian government, if they care to do it." A government spokesman who met with the musician and his wife said they had been given inaccurate information, however.

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Photo: ©
The celebrity couple wriggle close for an encounter with a newborn seal. Sir Paul then called on the Canadian government to put an end to the annual cullPhoto: © AFPy
Photo: ©
Heather, who is well known for her work on behalf of animal rights groups, makes the aquaintance of one of ice floe's residentsPhoto: © AFP

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