Bull sea lion evicted after causing a scene at beachfront restaurant
Adult male sea lions are referred to as bulls, and for good reason. They can easily weigh up to 300 pounds and their head is as big and as intimidating as a large dog. They have large jaws and teeth and a formidable bite if they are provoked. Generally agreeable and harmless, they can be territorial over beachfront, females or food. They have an aggressive side and people who encounter them are wise to be cautious and respectful. Fortunately, they are clumsy on land and easy to escape. They are also very unlikely to pose a threat to a human who keeps a safe distance.
This bull found his way from the beach and onto the sidewalk in a small town on San Cristobal Island, Ecuador. The locals love and respect the animals and avoid interfering with them at all costs. But when the bull assertively headed for the front door and patio area of this fine establishment, the owner needed to send a firm message. Intent on finding the source of the delicious food aromas, it was clear from the beginning that he would be among the guests and their tables if he was given the opportunity. Equipped with a chair, unintentionally resembling a lion tamer at a circus, the owner tried to persuade the sea lion to keep moving past. Without the chair, the large bull would not have even taken him seriously. He circled a few times and barked at the owner, a very clear indication of displeasure in sea lion language. The owner kept the chair in front of him as a barrier and the sea lion moved further along.
As if in time to the music, the animal walked comically past amused, but nervous patrons. When the sea lion began a second attempt to mount the step onto the patio, Kristy can be heard saying "He might need a hand there" to her husband, Dave who was filming the spectacle. Dave grabbed his own chair and backed up the brave owner as the sea lion barked more and made half hearted lunges at his feet in warning. With two chairs and two humans in front of him, the sea lion decided to take his business elsewhere.
The owner can be heard saying "You're being shown the door sir" in the most polite tone imaginable. Dave gets in his own comment: "Sorry buddy. No shirt, no shoes, no service". It's easy to be brave when the sea lion is retreating. In an adorable fashion, he squeezes himself through the railing and onto the walkway leading to the gate at the beach. He lets out a few barks in retort as he wiggles off into the darkness, defeated. The owner closes the gate and the crisis is over.
Although this was a humorous encounter, this sea lion was big enough to be a handful if he got over the step and onto the patio. Animals on San Cristobal Island live harmoniously with the small population of humans there and they thrive, but largely due to the respect and lack of interference shown by the locals and the tourists.