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Hoover the sea lion creates a stir at boat launch

A male California sea lion decided the wooden pier at Don Armeni boat launch was a handy spot to scatch and nap in the sun on Monday afternoon. On a routine cruise through the boat launch area looking for seal pups (a common spot for pups to come ashore), responders were surprised instead to see an estimated 600 lb pinniped. They quicked “sealed” off the pier with tape and barricades, warning that sea lions are mobile on land and can be dangerous if approached.

The sea lion entertained onlookers as he did some pinniped yoga stretches, squirming and scratching his back on the wooden dock. The photo shows the distinct forehead, known as a sagittal crest, of a mature male California sea lion. He returned to Elliott Bay shortly after 5pm. Because sea lions do not have distinct markings (other than scars, tags or brands), we have not yet identified if this is the same male who rested on the opposite ramp in December. If it is, he has packed on some weight which is a good thing! California sea lions regularly haul out on the two buoys in Elliott Bay - occasionally, Steller sea lions can be seen there, too.
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