California Sea Lions Are Chasing Tourists Off The Beach In Viral Video
Chaos erupted on a sunny day at La Jolla Cove in San Diego, California, as a group of unsuspecting beachgoers found themselves in a nerve-wracking encounter with territorial sea lions.
A thrilling video captured by Japhet Perez Estrada showcases the intense moment when these majestic creatures aggressively lunged toward the startled crowd.
In an attempt to safeguard the frightened individuals, a man grabbed hold of a loudspeaker and urged everyone to maintain a safe distance from the enormous male sea lions.
Interestingly, Estrada, a local open-water swimmer, shared that he personally managed to evade the attention of the sea lions. He attributed his unharmed status to his respectful behavior towards the majestic creatures, unlike the intrusive tourists who crowded the beach.
Shedding light on this peculiar behavior, the Ocean Conservancy revealed that male California sea lions employ vocalizations as a means of defending their territories. These vocalizations, both above and below the water's surface, manifest in fierce barks aimed at deterring any unwanted intruders.
Last year, the same beach had the exact same incident. Two big male sea ions were clearing beach-goers off the beach. It was speculated that the sea lions were chasing each other and not the people because of mating season.
Is Mating Season The Reason For The Aggressive Sea Lions?
The breeding season lasts from late June to early August; most pups are born from May through June. Three to four weeks after giving birth, females are ready to mate again.
According to NOAA Fisheries, males are "polygamous," establishing breeding territories that may include up to 14 females. They defend their territories with aggressive physical displays and vocalization.
This is the reason the sea lions are being territorial of the beach at this time of year.