Monday, April 4, 2011

My Town Monday: Invasion of the Sea Lions, Oceanside, CA

This past February, I wrote about selling our baby veiled chameleons to a reptile store in Oceanside. A year before that, I wrote about a great Oceanside Thai restaurant and its awesome aquarium. And in 2009, I visited the Oceanside Pier.

For today's My Town Monday post, we're headed 39 miles up the coast, back to Oceanside, CA. To investigate....(cue scary music)...

The Invasion of the Sea Lions!!!

This is a California sea lion. (Thank you google images.) Not to be confused with a harbor seal, the California sea lion, known in science-y circles as Zalophus californianus, has external ear flaps and, with their noted intelligence, often are the trained "seals" you see at zoos and aquariums.

The California sea lion is found along the Pacific Coast from Vancouver Island, Canada (Hello Homeland!) all the way down to Baja, Mexico. There are also California sea lions at the Galapagos Islands. And there used to be some in the Sea of Japan, but this group has been extinct since World War II.

More recently, though, California sea lions have invaded the Oceanside Harbor! Yes, bulls (adult males who can reach seven feet and weigh 850-1,000 pounds) and their harems (females can reach six feet and weigh 220 pounds) have taken over Oceanside Harbor and show no signs of leaving.

The natives are not amused! The sea lions leave behind smelly poop, are raucous barkers all night long and eat the live bait kept in underwater cages by fishing companies.

To complicate matters, sea lions are protected under federal law. However, it is legal to hose them down, pelt them with paint balls, and accost them with loud noises and pinwheels. Thus far, hosing them down hasn't fazed the pinnpeds in the least. Pinwheels will be tried this week. As of yet, no one has resorted to paint balls. Although mating season begins in May, at which time the bulls become more aggressive.

I'll keep you posted.

And, going totally off topic for a second, I SO DON'T DO MAKEUP will be released in paperback TOMORROW!! Woohoo!!! Please feel free to buy a baker's dozen. Or more. :) Sorry, but I have to do a bit of this promotion thing from time to time. :)

Click here for links to more My Town Monday posts. It's always fun to see what's going on in other corners of the world. Enjoy your first Monday of April!

p.s. The Oceanside California sea lions are not to be confused with the harbor seals at the La Jolla Children's Pool.



  1. Even if humans find them to be a nuisance, I be they are fun to watch.
    Kudos on the book release!

  2. Yeah, I've heard various kinds of seals and sea lions. Loud mothers.

  3. Congrats on the release!
    I've heard that about sea lions and seals, too. I'm laughing imagining them being shot at with paintball guns. Oh my!

  4. Well, if the fish companies are going to provide free and easy meals, they are going to attract customers ;) I hope they don't resort to paint balls though, they don't need any decoration.

  5. Nice to be a bit familiar with these places.

  6. Debra: Sea lions are cool to watch. It's true. and thank you re the release congrats!

    Charles: They ARE loud!

    Green Girl: I hope they don't have to resort to paint balls. I gather with the hosing, the sea lions move while being sprayed, but come right back once the water it turned off.

    Reb: Can you just imagine what the sea lions are saying to each other? "Wow, man, we really hit pay dirt in this harbour!" ;)

  7. I always liked the sea lions, but they have trouble with them in Seattle at the fish ladders when the salmon are running. I don't think they used paint balls in Seattle, though. I wonder how that works. One would think they would pollute the ocean.

    Congrats on the book release. You are really a FAMOUS author!!

  8. Teresa, I wonder if that's why paint balls haven't been tried yet? It would so messy and not necessarily environmentally healthy. Perhaps the city of Oceanside is calling around to other cities who have experienced sea lion problems.

    Well, I'm not FAMOUS yet. ;) FAMOUS releases on May 10. MAKEUP comes out in paperback tomorrow.

  9. We were just watching a harbor seal chasing anchovies yesterday in Santa Barbara. They're such cool animals.

    I've always enjoyed watching/listening to the sea lions up and down the coast. I wouldn't want to have to listen to one of them bark all night, though. Those suckers are LOUD!!


Comments are always welcome!