Baby sea lion tries to make friends with little bird on the beach
Sea lions are among the world's most adorable creatures, especially when they are babies. They are furry little things that look more like stuffed toys than real animals. With their huge eyes and smiling faces, they capture the hearts of anyone who looks at them They are friendly and trusting and always playful.
Sea lions are abundant along almost any shore or beach in the Galapagos Islands. The females laze on the sand while their babies nurse or nap close by. But they occasionally venture into the water to hunt for fish, octopus, crabs and eels, and they need a lot of food to keep their milk supply up for their young. During this time, the sea lion pups wait patiently on the shore for their mothers to return. But passing the time is often difficult for a bored sea lion baby all alone on the beach.
When this lonely little sea lion was hanging out at the water's edge, he spotted a little sand piper running along the sand. The little bird was looking for tiny crabs and insects for his own meal, but the sea lion saw this as an opportunity to try to play with it. In an effort to make a new friend, he started to waddle across the sand toward the bird. The bird has no interest in playing with a clumsy animal that is more than ten times his size, so he runs off behind a few rocks. The sea lion tries to keep up but his flippers are not as graceful on land as they are in the water and he soon realizes that the bird is out of reach. He goes back to his scratching and waiting. The bird returns on the other side of the rock and the friendly little baby tries one more time.
The bird runs off even more quickly than before and the baby gives up trying to reach him after only two or three hops. As he realizes that he is alone and friendless, he lets out a heart breaking cry.
Sea lions at this age cannot follow their mothers into the deep water because they would be easy prey for sharks and other large fish. They are not strong enough to fight the currents and the waves until they are much bigger. Larger sea lions are safe from all but the quickest and largest sharks and they usually return from hunting, with a full belly, after a few hours. Occasionally, orphaned baby sea lions can be heard with their pitiful cries as they search for their mothers. Few things are as sad as the anguished cry of a fearful and hungry sea lion pup.