Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alaska: Sea Lions

On our day cruise we also saw Stellar Sea Lions, basking on the rocks and diving off into the water at the Chiswell Islands, 35 miles south of Seward.  Some of them seemed playful, while others looked like they just needed a nap.  

This couple, however, looked like they needed some therapy.  There was lots of posturing and faux biting going on. 

What was really amazing was the size of these creatures.  I mean, they look as large as a human when you are watching them from a ship, but when we later saw one up close at the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward, it was clearly MUCH larger - like three times the size of a person.  Since their population has declined 80 percent since the mid-1970s, they are listed as an endangered species. That made it even more special to see them in person.

You can actually watch these animals at the same location we saw them, by a remote live feed set up by the Alaska Sea Life Center, until the rookery begins to move for winter.

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