Elephant seals take over California beach during shutdown

  • In this photo taken Jan. 21, 2019, provided by the Point Reyes National Seashore, is a colony of elephant seals that took over a beach in Northern California during the government shutdown when there was no staff to discourage the animals from congregating in the popular tourist area. About 60 adult seals that have birthed 35 pups took over a beach in Point Reyes National Seashore, knocking down a fence and moving into the parking lot, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (John Dell’Osso/Point Reyes National Seashore via AP)

SAN FRANCISCO — A colony of elephant seals took over a beach in Northern California during the government shutdown when there was no staff to discourage the animals from congregating in the popular tourist area, an official said.

About 60 adult seals that have birthed 35 pups took over a beach in Point Reyes National Seashore, knocking down a fence and moving into the parking lot, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday.

The park north of San Francisco is home to a colony of about 1,500 elephant seals that tend to frequent another beach with 100-foot-tall (30 meters) cliffs that keep the animals protected and mostly hidden from the public, said park spokesman John Dell’Osso.

Dell’Osso said it’s likely the recent storms and high tides inundated the animal’s normal habitat with water and so they sought a wider swath of dry land around the corner.

“Sometimes you go out with tarps and you shake the tarps and it annoys them and they move the other direction,” he said.

But since nobody was at work to address the seal migration, the animals took over. One seal even adventured under a picnic table near a cafe, the newspaper reported.

The elephant seals were lounging in the sand after the park reopened Sunday, leading staff to temporarily close the road to the beach.

Officials have no plans to move the animals while some of the elephant seals nurse their pups.

Staff is considering offering guided tours of the elephant colony, Dell’Osso said.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

4 Comments
  1. harry oyama January 30, 2019 11:53 am Reply

    Time to herd in those 20-30 foot hungry great white sharks to help thin out those fat juicy elephant seals. It’ll make great filming adventures for tourists on bottom viewing boats watching those seals being torn to pieces while placing bets on how long an elephant seal lasts after the first bite.


    1. coolio January 31, 2019 7:44 am Reply

      OK sicko…


  2. Harry Scrotum January 31, 2019 6:59 am Reply

    That is such a great idea Harry, I think I’ll start a glass bottom boat business…..


  3. curious dog January 31, 2019 9:26 am Reply

    Remember that old show “Life without People”? It’s awesome to see that there’s still hope that nature can survive our stupidity!!…for now.

    Hooray!! Go Seals!!!


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