Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Travel Tales: Baby Sea Lions

(Photo credit: memyselfandtheinterstate.com)
In another post I discussed the wonderful day we had at Zuma Beach. The surf was high and dolphins were playing close to shore and were surfing the waves. I saw a baby sea lion who would surf into shore and look around. He would then return to the water and surf in again. He did this all along the shore to the delight of those on the beach.

When we returned to the beach a couple weeks later, a somber situation awaited us. We walked down the beach and noticed something on the beach. It was not debris. A midsize sea lion looked up at us, but did not move. I had my daughter stand there while I went to get the lifeguard. When I informed the two lifeguards as to what I saw, the younger man looked concerned, but the older man informed me of the facts of the situation.

The sea lion was from the Channel Islands and something had happened to separate the baby sea lions from their mothers. The sea lions were starving to death. The lifeguards could not feed them because the mother had to chew the food. A rescue group in the area had already rescued 250 babies at that time. They could not take anymore.

We continued our walk down the beach and I noticed something dark in the waves. It was the body of a larger sea lion. A little bit further was the body of another baby sea lion. I wondered whatever happened to the little one we had seen just weeks ago.

(Photo credit: memyselfandtheinterstate.com)

That was a somber day at the beach and we did not feel like taking any photos. We just talked about what was going on in the water. One good thing did happen that day. We were watching the horizon and saw spouts of water fly in the air closer to shore. The whales were swimming by the area. We had never seen them so close to land. At least some wildlife was okay.

At that point in time we could could not find much information in the press about the sea lions, but a recent news story told of individuals who had harassed and kidnapped a sea lion pup from the beach. A wildlife official warned that the bite of  a sea lion could be worse than the bite of a pit bull. He also advised the public that such an act would bring fines of up to $10,000 and up to a year in jail. The press also reported that other organizations had stepped in to help the sea lions. Hopefully, the little guy in the photo found the help he needed.

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