If there is one species that I have no sympathy for, it is the stinky sea lion. Oh how they vex, how they frustrate, how they smell. My wonderful best friend, you see, has a beautiful sailboat in Newport Beach’s harbor and the creatures regularly climb aboard and reek the place up whilst also causing stress fractures due their general fatness.
Various anti-sea lion measures have, of course, been deployed but they are all toothless as sea lions are protected in Newport and anything that might work is met with a stiff fine.
They are also, apparently, protected in New Zealand where a bodyboarder is receiving international condemnation for challenging one of the bastards to a beach fight, swinging his craft wildly and making a tactical retreat.
Daryl Jones happened to be perched near the St. Clair Hot Water Pool where he captured the scene after noticing the sea lion refusing to let the bodyboarder boogie by strutting side to side on the shoreline.
“I’ve been a pāua diver years ago, I’ve been surfing here for 30 years, I’ve encountered them heaps of times – they’re all bluff. They’re just inquisitive,” he told the Otago Daily Times after sharing his advice that the bodyboarder should have simply backed away and waited five minutes.
The local biodiversity ranger countered that the bodyboarder should have simply frozen and called him “ignorant.”
“They’re a big animal, they’ve got sharp teeth, you’re confronted with them, you get all the fight-flight emotions coming into play, and so you can do silly things, he said. “They’re not actually there to bite you or eat you or whatever people think they might be there to do. They’re just being playful and you can give all the wrong signals by just being scared. But you can also do the right thing if you just go into freeze mode.”
Animal rights activists have piled on, calling it “unbelievable behavior,” but none of them have friends with boats so what do they know?
Go bodyboarder go!