California sea lions, Prince William Sound, Alaska, 2000.
Image: Neil Moomey and Dan Beeler.
Tourists love to visit Fisherman’s Wharf for the seafood, the view of San Francisco Bay, and also to watch the many dozens of playful sea lions that lounge by the water’s edge, eating fish. However, in southern California, sea lions have begun attacking god-fearing American citizens. For example, this past June in Southern California, a sea lion charged several people on Manhattan Beach, eventually biting a man before escaping justice. Last spring in Berkeley, a woman was hospitalized after a sea lion seriously bit her leg. A lifeguard in Santa Barbara was bitten three times while swimming off El Capitan State Beach. But perhaps most impressive event of aggression occurred last summer when a group of sea lions took over a Newport Beach marina and capsized a vintage 50-foot yacht when they illegally boarded it.
What is the reason that our native endangered wildlife are attacking innocent human tourists? Are these the new wave of terrorists; animals seeking vengeance for genocide perpetuated by hunters, fishermen, oil drillers, farmers and ranchers, foresters and other murderous humans; a genocide that is causing sharp declines in animal populations? And seriously, in view of these facts, do any humans deserve mercy from these beleaguered animals?
[A] series of sea-lion attacks on people in recent months has led experts to warn that the animals are not as cute and cuddly as they appear.
“People should understand these animals are out there not to attack people or humans. But they’re out there to survive for themselves,” said Jim Oswald, a spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.