Adorable baby sea lions play with camera at the beach
Baby sea lions are among the cutest animals on earth. Here on San Cristobal Island, in the Galapagos Islands, sea lions make their home on the beaches and in the ocean. Hundreds of them cover the beaches, lazily lying in the sun, sleeping up to 20 hours per day. The majority of the sea lions are young mothers and their pups. The mothers lounge on the beach, allowing their babies to nurse while they sleep. Several times a day, the mothers venture out into the ocean to catch fish. They need an ample supply of food to sustain themselves and to produce milk for their pup, which will nurse for up to three years. As they grow older, the young will start to hunt and eat fish, eels and octopus to supplement their diet of milk from mom.
While the mothers are hunting or sleeping, the young sea lions gather at the water’s edge to swim, play, or explore. Often, they gather in groups of three to four pups and roll on each other in the sand. Like young puppies, they bite and wrestle, playing until they also tire and flop on the sand for a snooze.
These three adorable pups were going in and out of the water, exploring a tide pool in the safety of shallow water. They will not venture out deeper until they are much older. The ocean is full of predators that would love a sea lion pup for a snack. When they spotted the GoPro camera on a small tripod in the sand, they made their way over to check it out. Any foreign object is cause for curiosity and they rolled in front of it, looking and sniffing. Eventually they even decided to chew on it to see what it tasted like. Typical of babies, they explore with their mouths. This provided some extremely close footage of their beautiful faces. Sea lions appear sleek and grey when they are wet. As they dry, their fur appears chestnut brown and then golden brown when they are completely dry. These babies are covered in sand after rolling around on the beach.
Clumsy and awkward on land, yet beautifully graceful in the water, baby sea lions are irresistible.