Posted October 1, 2021 by Kerry McFall
One of my new passions is watching the sea lions here in La Jolla. According to the locals and some docents at La Jolla Cove, this particular bunch took up residence here sometime in about 2016. The females come here to give birth, and then they spend several months teaching the pups to swim, fish, and generally be denizens of the deep. A few males show up now and then to bark and complain and get on everyone’s nerves, occasionally staging sumo wrestling matches on the rocks with younger males. Those guys are humongous, up to 800 pounds.
I can spend so long standing there watching that my feet go to sleep. Sea lions make terrific “life drawing” artist’s models, posing in the sun like furry mermaids, the young ones turning somersaults and playing tag in the surf. But we all know that no passion is without a dark side, and this is no exception – I hereby nominate the idiots (mostly tourists) who harass the sea lions for The Darwin Award. And the Queen’s Dog Whisperer agrees, as quoted from https://www.mcall.com/sd-cm-ljl-dog-whisperer-20180910-htmlstory.html:
“That’s stupid, that,” Mugford said, motioning toward a group of young people about five feet from a group of sea lions and inching closer with their cell phones out. “It endangers the mother-pup bond and it endangers those people.
“Sea lions are wildlife, just like grizzly bears or bison,” he continued. “Obviously, having those signs warning people not to get close does no good if people ignore them. What we need is a few well-documented cases of sea lions biting people and then perhaps people would keep their distance more.”
To sum up, people who pester wildlife don’t have the sense that God gave a Goose. For most of the summer, there were yellow tapes blocking the steps carved or worn into the rocks where the pups and their mothers were resting. Most people stayed back, but every time I was on that Cove walkway, there were the selfie seekers, down there with the sea lions. The tapes came down in mid-September, I guess because the local ordinance was only effective during “active pupping season”. But damnation (as my sainted father would have said), those pups are now teenagers in sea lion development terms. Being the Momma of a teen makes ANY woman cranky! If you mess with the rookery residents, you make ALL those Mommas mad… and 300 pounds of angry Momma coming at you on slippery wet rocks is a recipe for disaster.
Alex Haley said, “Find the good and praise it,” quoting his grandmother I believe. I’ve always thought that was a good philosophy to guide our lives – otherwise we wind up like those noisy male sea lions, complaining and getting on everyone’s nerves. And so I offer my drawing of a little boy, sitting on the wall to watch the sea lions in quiet fascination, wearing his bicycle helmet, his scooter pulled up politely alongside. Occasionally he and his big sister, who stood beside him, giggled at the antics going on down by the surf line. Their Momma and Daddy did a good job of helping them be caring humans in a changing climate – good job. Maybe their examples will rub off on rowdy, thoughtless tourists.
#LaJollaCove #SeaLions #SelfieSeekers #FindTheGoodAndPraiseIt #ResponsibleCitizens