Tourist Visit

Images of The Week

Sea Lion on The Beach – 1950s

This week’s image comes to us care of a past Seal Beach resident, Bob Robertson. The photo was taken by Bob’s father, Bill Robertson, owner of the Seal Beach Post and Wave newspaper.

click on the image for a larger view

According to a recent story in The Sun, a sea lion paid a visit to our beach in the vicinity of 13th Street on May 11.

Here’s a nice shot of another Seal Lion visiting the sands of Seal Beach and posing majestically for a photo opportunity with some local residents.  Bob is the young fellow on the left with lots of energy.  He estimates this photo was taken in the mid-fifties.  Can any of our readers identify the other people in the photo?

Perhaps a local marine biologist chum of mine can be enticed to pipe in with a comment on the differences between a seal and a seal lion and any other pertinent facts she’d like to share, hmm?

Thanks for contributing, Bob!

We’ll share more historical pictures and photos of Seal Beach as the year progresses.   Be sure to check back each week for a new Seal Beach image.

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3 Responses to Tourist Visit

  1. senoritafish says:

    Anytime, Mike. You’re right, it’s a California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). Both seals and sea lions are in the suborder Pinnipedia, which means “feather feet.” The differences are that sea lions can rotate their hips under them, enabling them to walk on land, and that they have external ears. They also swim using their powerful foreflippers. Seals (the harbor seal also seen commonly in these parts) are unable to rotate their hips under them and don’t use them at all when on land; they use a caterpillar-like motion with their bodies and front flipper to move around. They have no external ears (only an opening), and they use their rear flippers for propulsion when swimming.

    Actually the statue of Slick, at the foot of of the Seal Beach pier, is a sea lion.

    As for the photo above, it may have been a good photo op, but if you happen to see a wild sea lion on a public beach normally frequented by humans, it’s probably best not to approach it that closely. Not only can they carry leptospirosis, which can infect dogs like the ones in the photo, they are still wild animals and can move faster than you think. The one in the photo looks kind of thin (I can see its ribs); if it’s a wild sea lion and allows people to approach that closely, I’m wondering if it was sick as well.

    During the really windy weather and rough surf we had a couple of weeks ago, we came across young sea lion pup at the base of the Huntington Beach pier. He was too little to have been a away from his mom for too long (couldn’t have weighed more than 30-40 lbs.), but he was so exhausted and thin the only move he made was to open and close his eyes. A lifeguard passing told us Friends of the Sea Lion (a rescue group) had already been notified to come pick him up, so I hope they were able to help him. Cases like this have been pretty common in the last few years. At the same time, though, fishermen will tell you that because of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, sea lions are overpopulated and causing a lot of damage; they’d like to see sea lions at least removed from their legal protections. They are allowed to use “seal bombs” (sort of a large firecracker) to scare them away, but they don’t always do much good.

    Hope that helps.

  2. senoritafish says:

    By the way, today is World Oceans Day, so this is an appropriate post!

    http://www.theoceanproject.org/wod/

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