Sometime in late March, “Nibbles” –a 2,500 lb. elephant seal living on the Sonoma Coast in Northern California– snapped. In the ensuing month, the adolescent seal has bitten a surfer and a pet pit bull, attacked a kayaker and killed a number of harbor seals (12 according to a park ranger), apparently crushing the skulls of the females and disemboweling the males. Officials have gone public with a warning, speaking out to the press and posting signs all around the mouth of the Russian River: don’t swim, wade, or even get near the water, and if you see Nibbles basking in the sun on the sand don’t try to tickle him!
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, witnesses say that Nibbles waits below the surface of the water and “lunges at its victims like a crocodile.”
Male elephant seals are known for being aggressive, but Nibbles is taking it a little far. Luckily Congress passed a bill requiring a 90 day waiting period for elephant seals to purchase assault weapons or it might have been even more serious.