Happy sea lions surround & play with beach swimmers

Sea lions are like the playful puppies of the ocean. In the Galapagos Islands, they inhabit the coastline and lounge on beaches everywhere. They can be seen hunting among the rocks and sunning themselves on the sand dunes. They live in complete harmony with the humans here. People keep a respectful distance and avoid interfering in any way. The sea lion population flourishes and they have come to understand that humans are no threat to them. They can be found wandering or sleeping any place that is within reach of the water. Large male sea lions are territorial and are likely to bark at anyone who comes too close to them or the females in their colony and the adult females are indifferent to people. They spend so much time hunting for food or nursing their young that they are only interested in sleeping during the rest of the hours in their day. But the young sea lions are a different story. They are curious and playful. They spend a lot of their time in the shallow water along the beaches, waiting for their mothers to return with food, or with their milk supply. They play with each other and roll in the surf to pass the time. They occasionally approach humans with curiosity as in this case with a snorkeler who was also enjoying the waves at their beach. They came within inches of her, darting about and staring right into her snorkel mask. They rolled and swam under her, seemingly inviting her to play with them. Kristy couldn’t resist the offer and she rolled and dove just as they did. Six young sea lions surrounded her and began imitating her movements. They blew bubbles at her and swam in circles around her. The dominant male of the colony watched from a distance but didn’t object to their antics. This continued for over twenty minutes, much to Kristy’s delight. Their beautiful faces and graceful movements made this interaction a dream come true.

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