Saturday, June 12, 2010

First Time Ever - Sea Lion Pups

Captain Yohn Gideon has been leading Elkhorn Slough Safari's since 1994,and in all that time he has never seen a sea lion having pup. In fact, it's rare to even have a female sea lion in Northern California. Females usually stay South at the Channel Islands. The male sea lions dominate the Moss Landing area and Monterey Bay. Captain Yohn comments, "I know I have never seen a sea lion born in Moss Landing, not in all 16 years. I have never seen a sea lion pup in the slough." "We do enjoy seeing harbor seal pups being born in the slough each spring and right now we have three or four new sea otter pups and their moms up Elkhorn Slough," stated Captain Yohn, "But never a sea lion pup, until now." On the Elkhorn Slough Safari tour today passengers were treated to the birth of a California sea lion and even took home vdeo. The Captain reports there are 5 sea lion pups in all and we watched two of the births. The Captain wrapped up, "That is what is exciting about leading these tours. You never know what you are going to see!"
Photo of the first ever sea lion pup in Elkhorn Slough is by Captain Yohn Gideon and shows a mom cleaning the afterbirth from her newborn

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