- I think baby seals are cute.
- I think going to the beach is highly overrated.
It is generally agreed that the intruders, being harbor seals and all, are cute, and that they do not seem to be going anywhere. But their antics -- including females giving birth right there on the sand -- are driving some people crazy. And into court.
Antics? Oh those crazy female seals, giving birth on the beach. What will they think of next?
"It was kind of a family beach," said Valerie O'Sullivan, an avid swimmer who filed a lawsuit against the city in 2004 to restore the beach for human use."This isn't the only place for the seals. There are plenty of seals up and down the coast."
If I recall correctly, there is plenty of beach up and down the coast. Is this the only place in SoCal to swim?
When Michelle and I honeymooned, we went to La Jolla to see the seals. At that time (April, 2002) the rope line was up to keep people out of the pupping zone. (The Pupping Zone might be a cool name for a restaurant or a band, or a blog, now that I think of it).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is charged with protecting sea creatures, put up signs warning that it is a federal offense to deliberately disturb the seals and last year installed a camera to keep watch from its main regional office in Long Beach.
But the beach is open to human use. In April, the city, on the suggestion of federal authorities, agreed to restore a rope line across part of the beach during pupping season, from January to May, to discourage human contact with the seals.
A few years ago, nine swimmers, now known as the La Jolla 9, tried to swim ashore at the beach to prove humans and seals could readily share it. But the seals rushed into the water as the swimmers approached; one swimmer was accused of battering a seal in a panic, and all of them were cited for disturbing the seals.I'm no expert, but if I were to confront a beachful of seals I'd probably do it on the beach, instead of in the water where, dare I say, the seals would have an advantage.
"Look at that!" said Gina Montefusco, a visitor from Washington, D.C. "This is just unique. I'm not sure I have ever seen wildlife actually in the wild, and never this close."Gina's got to get out more. Go to a park and watch squirrels collecting nuts or ducks swimming on the pond. Then head out to a bite to eat. I hear there's this great new place called The Pupping Zone...
Tags: California San Diego La Jolla harbor seals beach