This is how I like to see seals,

curious, chubby and healthy.

This is how I don’t like to see sea lions, suffering from human carelessness.

In one afternoon, in the same area, I photographed the one sea lion with a plastic ring painfully constricting his neck, and another seal (above) with the scars from a similar previous encounter. We notified a park ranger and she assured us that animal rescue had been notified and would come help the ensnared sea lion. This is what happens to discarded human plastic. It ends up in the ocean and injures innocent animals. Seeing two animals on one beach on the same day, with the same problem, gives us an idea of how often this happens. Most of the time the animals are not found or saved.

Seals are curious and peaceful creatures. They, unlike sea lions, do not have ear flaps, and cannot lift themselves up on their front flippers. The move about on land in a slug like fashion, but in the water they flit about fast and skillfully like birds.

These are a group of sea lions with a very handsome blondie. You can see their small ear flaps and the distinctive way they can sit up on their front flippers. They look quite regal when they do this. Once, a long time ago, I saw a sea lion, on this same beach, up on top of a rock face, twenty-five or more feet above the sand, far away from the water. Storm surge from the day before must have deposited him there. He looked quite kingly, surveying his realm! I have no idea how he got down, but he wasn’t there the next day.

Seals on the other hand tend to look you in the eye with beautiful, beseeching looks!

They are winsome,

and quite chubby when healthy. You can see the ear opening here, with no ear flap.

Cheers to you from the innocent seals and sea lions from La Jolla California~

241 thoughts on “Chubs~

  1. Anonymous

    Check out Ocean Conservation Namibia’s you tube channel for people who dedicate their lives to rescuing seals trapped in fishing and other assorted gear. It would be hard to do here because in catching the entangled seal you are likely to be charged with violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

  2. These are really rare pictures . I have never seen such close pictures which is absolutely stunning. I would like to save couple of pictures to my screen saver if you give permission . Thank you and I admire your view finder and view angles always. Have a great week end.

    1. I may know the family. I went to school with some Hahns in La Jolla. Efforts to expel the seals/sea lions as well as the cormorants are heating by La Jollans who don’t want to share the sea with wildlife and resent them pooping in the ocean. Of course, we expel millions of gallons of partially treated foul smelling sewage off the coast of Point Loma constantly….. But that’s different I guess……..

  3. I have come across several Lions snagged with metal wire or rope. I contacted Vancouver Aquarium about this. They told me they couldn’t do anything. They said If they tranquilized them they would escape and drown when the tranquilizer kicked in.
    That was about 15 years ago. I’m happy to say that they now rescue Lions in trouble!
    Why they changed their minds,I do not know?

    The Lion you described sounds like a Stellar. They always love to be up high! They hold their nose to the sky as If they are royalty!

    1. I am so glad to hear they are being rescued now. They are still people in California that want to kill and remove seals and sea lions because they poop in the ocean, and take fish away from people who do both these things too!! These are actually California Sea Lions. They look just like Stellars and perch up just like them too, but Stellars are much taller, up to 11 feet long, compared to California lions which grow up to 7 feet long. You would notice the difference immediately if you saw our lions. Stellars are the biggest sea lions on earth. I have seen them, and they are awesome. If they jump on your boat, you’re apt to sink!!! South American Sea Lions seem most imposing to me though they are not as big as Stellars, they are thick, muscular and appear like mountains of muscle.

      1. the fisherman want to cull both Cali’s and Stellar’s for eating “their” fish! Humans have taken all the fish! So Lions get desperate and jump into the pursed nets full of Herring!
        We’ve stripped the oceans!

        1. We have stripped the ocean and dump our sewage and trash in it too. When I was a kid, my peers used to throw fish bombs off boats, to harm sea lions and see what floated up Disgustingly cruel. I heard of a stellar jumping onto a boat in Alaska trying to get the huge halibut they were hauling in. He nearly sunk the boat.

  4. What a wonderful experience you had on that California beach with the sea lions. They are wonderful and very cute creatures. The sad note comes to be about the plastics that wreak havoc on these animals. Hopefully one day they will realize that throwing this type of waste into the sea causes so much damage and suffering to the animals that live in it. On the other hand, your photos are fantastic. Have a happy weekend Cindy.

    1. I love your thoughtful and insightful comment my friend. I am happy you care about the suffering of these wonderful creatures. Thank you very much & stay safe and well დ

    1. Lovely pictures, but I’m also grateful that you mention the big problem with plastic in the oceans. What worries me the most is what we do not see, all microplastics. They affect the reproductive capacity of small fish, which leads to smaller prey fish for, among other things, seals. Something everyone should think about when we wash a synthetic sweater.

      1. Yes. We use the ocean as our collective toilet. We can’t live without a healthy ocean and healthy creatures in the ocean. We are all mutually dependent. Awareness has definitely increased, but stopping the steady march of our dependence on an industrialized lifestyle seems Sisyphean. There is a lot of talk, but not enough action. Global summits aren’t enough დ

  5. awww they are definitely angels. When I cried the most by watching the nature scenes in my life was when I saw a mother Hawaiian monk seal was just leaving her pup. Pup was crying, screaming so hard…. but mum never back. I was watching all (of course I kept a plenty distance from them). It was my saddest moment from the nature. Pup was crying for a while… then stop crying and has swam away……

    1. That is so heartbreaking. I know exactly why you cried. Baby animals bring out the mother instinct in many of us. I am so grateful you cared and your story moves me. Monk seals are beautiful დდ

  6. Phenomenal photographs,,,and so sad about the discarded plastic and the harm it causes. We can be thoughtless creatures at times…so oblivious to the pain we cause.

    1. “so oblivious to the pain we cause” Yes. Thankfully there are also people like you in the world who devote your life to rescuing animals. Thank you for what you do დ

  7. Heartbreaking to see animals injured or harmed by human garbage. 😢 Thank goodness for people who rescue and help these animals. Thank you for sharing these amazing photos!

    1. Thank you for caring Michele. Pressure is heating up against these seals and sea lions once again because their populations are growing and they have re-established their colonies on the coast. When I was growing up, people slaughtered them in all sorts of ways, the worst was with fish bombs thrown off the sides of boats. The Marine Mammal Act stopped that. I hope they are not successful in eliminating them again.

  8. Thanks for these beautiful photos! And your words that tell the story behind the photos. Coincidentally, I just finished painting my version of a seal…an abstract but I think it’s believable as a seal. Seal as a power animal. Perhaps I’ll post it in my blog next week.

    1. I hope you do post your painting. I will keep my eyes open for it. I love the idea of a seal as a power animal. There is power in their gaze. Thank you for caring my friend დ

  9. Gorgeous pictures along with the hard-hitting ones. I am comforted knowing that someone was on their way to remove the ring from the poor animal – there is no way it would come off by itself!

    1. Can you imagine the frustration? No hands to pull it off. Terrible. I was really shocked to see two affected animals on the same day in the same place. This is a protected ocean wildlife preserve, but you can see the limitations of the protection.

    1. I love this too! Dozens of penguin chicks spending the night in a volunteer’s home says it all. I have seen your NZ penguins several times, and your fur seal rookeries. So wonderful, as are the people who care დ

  10. You got such wonderful shots of these beautiful creatures. There needs to be more awareness of the damage we are doing to them. Why don’t people care more. It’s like looking at puppy dog eyes. Such a perfect capture.

    1. It is exactly like “looking in puppy dogs eyes,” because they are the same. I know children care completely about animals and everyone. Bad things happen in too many people’s childhoods, that takes that innocent childlike wonder and love away. I really value people who hold on to the love and wonder, like you Marlene. Stay safe & well დ

      1. When we,the common citizen, continuously raise our voice of concern in every forum we get, the decision makers are bound to listen.
        Awareness is increasing, hope the positive changes are visible soon!
        The photos taken by you are a great effort to draw the attention of powers that be.

  11. It is such a terrible thing to see them suffering like that Cindy, man has a lot to answer for…and I think about now he’s getting it. We all are a part of this world in all we do, one way or another ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    1. So true. Yes,we are all part of the natural world, cannot live without it, and are interconnected with it and with each other. It seems that awareness has increased, but “progress,” and profit, meaning things like manufacturing plastic, destroying habitats, etc., is hard to stop once it is barreling along

  12. I may be one, and many good people are as well, but humans in general are a pox upon the Earth. We’ll be lucky to survive two more generations.

    Seals are adorable, dogs with flippers, and are a delight to watch in the water, in my case as filmed by others. Thanks for these lovely portraits of those on this beach and your notice to the rangers so the one could be saved.

    1. Yes. Human beings are the most destructive species on the planet. Worse than mosquitos. Thank you for caring Steve. You are right. So many of us do care. But we unfortunately are not running the place დ

  13. It is so sad the animals suffer from our plastic, and it is not only the seals. Your pictures a wonderful and I am glad that at least some are saved again. Those poor innocent animals!

    1. Yes. We are the most harmful species. Lots of us want to do so much better, but we aren’t running the planet unfortunately. I am sorry I missed your post on the Christmas cookies. I found the comment in my WP spam filter. It was so incredibly thoughtful of you. I was very touched. Next Christmas, let’s you and I send each other homemade Christmas cookies! დ

  14. Oh, seals and sea lions are such a delight and what eyes they have. You certainly got some amazing pictures. Unfortunately, so much is in the sea that is causing harm, including bits of micro fleece. There seems no end to the damage we humans can do…

      1. All the fleece people wear sheds microparticles when it’s washed that wind up in the ocean. Whales have mistaken clouds of it for plankton, but of course, there’s no nutritional value in it.

  15. Just a small group of humans can cause so much suffering for wildlife. We should think not about our own conveniences but other creatures as well. So sad to see such loveable animals harmed like this.

  16. Hi Cindy, Pretty is a stickler for plastic recycling and has been for years while I confess I may occasionally throw a plastic bottle in with regular trash when recycling isn’t readily available. After seeing your images today, I promise you I will never carelessly toss anything plastic aside again. You made me a believer today. Thank you.

  17. So cute animals! And so sad what humans – out of thoughtlessness and laziness – do to them. Thanks for the wonderful pictures.
    Have a great weekend, and stay healthy,
    P.S.: Do you know the FabFour Blog and Hanne Siebers’ fantastic pictures of seals?

  18. These captures just flooded me with smiles, how innocently sweet they are; it’s so sad to hear of your two sightings in one day with the plastic problem we have flooding our waters and destroying our sealife. I am thankful you contacted the ranger for a rescue, you are a great gal, Cindy! Cheers!! 💞

  19. A wonderful post! I am glad you help that sea lion with a plastic ring stuck on its head. Something we think it can’t possibly cause any harm but yet it ends up causing trouble to other being. You are my hero!

  20. This breaks my heart, and yet thank goodness for vigilant people like you, and for marine rescue, who help these innocent and beautiful creatures. Not only do we as individuals get careless with our ‘throw aways,” but companies who produce this kind of plastic need to be taken into account. Make changes. For years I have taught my children/grandchildren/friends/even strangers how important it is to cut the plastic rings off of soda bottles and cans (the plastic that is used to keep them together). Those plastic rings are so dangerous for birds and other wildlife. It takes some effort, but we just need to cut each ring apart with scissors. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they weren’t produced at all! Thanks for this wonderful post.

  21. Aww, Cindy, you captured the beautiful spirits of these gorgeous seals! I hate to see the garbage that ends up in our waters and ultimately around the neck of a seal as you show us. I always cut any loops in our trash before it goes to “recycling.” It takes 3 seconds. Merry Christmas to you down in the holler and see you in January!

  22. These are fantastic photos! We’ve been to the beach in La Jolla to see the seals. My daughter loved it. She wanted to be a marine biologist then. And when we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, we used to go to Seal Beach to watch them. Thanks for helping the sea lion with the plastic.

  23. It’s heartbreaking when I see this, Cindy. So glad you make people aware of this and hopefully they”ll be freed from that nasty plastic very soon, they deserve to have freedom and peace🙏Pawkisses for a Happy Sunday🐾😽💞

  24. Incredible photos Cindy. It is so heartbreaking to see the devastation us humans are creating. I have personally made it my mission this past year to make every attempt to use plastic as little as possible. Sure hope the seals you reported were helped. 💕

    1. Good for you. Using as little plastic as possible, is a very smart strategy. Recycling plastic was an idea glomed on from plastic manufacturers, so people would continue to purchase plastic, thinking it was responsible if they recycled it. The best way to beat this, is to purchase the least amount of plastic possible.

  25. This is an adorable, lovable animal. Still, the clubbing of baby seals goes on in Canada. It sickens me!!!!!!!!!
    Our garbage is a horrific blight on the planet.
    I’ve been collecting plastic mesh bags that certain produce comes in, to use in an Art Gown.
    They are not recyclable, so end up in landfills. Birds that eat at landfills get their beaks stuck in the mesh, and starve to death.
    This will be my most honourable Art Gown. I’ve got a few people collecting, but most deny they know what I’m talking about. Meanwhile the produce dept. is filled with these bags.

    1. I know exactly what you are talking about, on many levels. The baby seal clubbing should have stopped decades ago. I can well imagine the markets that still purchase the skins of baby seals that come up to greet you, before you club them to death. And then there is the other seemingly unresolvable problem with human beings. We are so dependent on products that are harmful to us, to all creatures, and our planet. Plastic is horrible for us. Microwaving it is toxic to us. But it is convenient. So it is hard to live without it. We seem to now be enslaved by the products we need.

    1. Wales is a place I would like to visit. But, then, covid is preventing this. Anyone who is fascinated by wild creatures is a person I have a lot in common with. Thank you for being fascinated Emma and Merry Christmas to you and yours დ

    1. The truth is, we are all animals. And if you look at every measure of a species most heinous harmfulness, war, murder, rape, child rape, I could keep going but I won’t, it’s Christmas. The human animal is the worst animal ever. Depressing actually, when most people are good but can’t change this trajectory.

      1. Yes, we are. It sounds pessimistic, but I think it’ll last forever.
        From the other side, I am optimist and trying to look for positive impressions. Especially by this time of the year.❄️☃️🎄

    1. You’re right. We are supposed to be higher animals? Based on what exactly? Happy Holidays Liz and thank you. I noticed you tried to follow me 3 times. It would be funny WP, except it isn’t. Take good care lovely lady დ

      1. Happy Holidays to you as well, Cindy. Yes, the WP gremlins are still at it. After submitting multiple help tickets, I don’t think WP has any intention of finding and fixing the bug that is causing the unwanted unsubscriptions.

        1. You are exactly correct. They either don’t care, or are doing it purposely. Oh, well. Merry Christmas to you Liz and I look forward to sharing another year with you 🎅🎄👼🛐

  26. Anonymous

    Thank you for these amazing pictures, Cindy. Hopefully people understands that we need all these beautiful creatures in our lives.

  27. We love to go to La Jolla and see the seals and sea lions. but how heartbreaking to see them suffering with those plastic rings constricting their heads! Thank you for showing the need to be more careful with trash, especially plastics!

  28. Aw, poor critters. I do wish people would be more careful with their trash disposal. Land creatures, too, can get into discarded plastic and become ensnared.

    1. Affects so many marine creatures. We only have a tiny sampling of the problem, but if you look at the plastic continents floating in the oceans, you do get an idea of the enormity of the reality.

  29. Really great photos of the sea lions and seals! You caught many of their different expressions and got close to take these pictures.
    The seal with the plastic ring around its neck is horrible. Our actions harm the environment and animals.
    Thanks for sharing information about the difference between seals and sea lions. 🙂

  30. I don’t often get containers with plastic rings, but I always cut them up before putting them in the trash. Most of our trash gets burned for energy. But a while back I went kayaking and because of a group that was a head of us in the water (picking up tons of trash their goal), we also took it upon ourselves to pick out glass and plastic bottles and an odd assortment of junk.

    The gal we rented the kayaks from filled several bags with the trash we collected. And happy that we had helped. 🙂

    Lovely seals. Happy Holly Daze!!

      1. It would be nice if one didn’t have to ‘Go Plogging’ (picking up trash while jogging, walking or otherwise attempting a pleasurable outing). There is an organization called 4 Ocean that actually sells braclets out of the trash they collect. Which goes back into funding more cleaning up of the oceans. 😀

  31. Wow! I didn’t know how dangerous these plastics are to the animals. Who should be blamed? The plastic manufacturers or people who used plastic? Thanks for sharing.

  32. Seeing the huge plastic islands floating through the ocean is one thing, but seeing an animal’s life directly threatened by plastic is quite another. I wish we could make up our minds to do something about this problem, because whatever we are doing is not working. 😢

  33. Today I have been reviewing all your posts that I and so many others have enjoyed for years. Your seal photos captured the essence of these beautiful, gentle creatures with the sweetest faces and like you say beseeching look in their eyes. I have been cutting up those plastic loops for at least 25 years and whenever I ask others to do so they look at me with wonder. Lovely to see a few of your readers and you also are cutting those damn things up. Here in Ontario, we are seeing alternatives in a few of the items we buy. Yeah for reporting the seal in distress and yes, you are a hero, but then of course, you did. The main takeaway from all your posts and photos is your deep love of animals and nature and I applaud you and thank you for sharing all you do, and making the world that much brighter and hopeful that one day everyone will care as you do. Warm regards, Susan

    1. Thank you sincerely for such kind and thoughtful comments Susan. You are so appreciated for all the advocacy and serious committed good you do! I applaud you in return. Being in nature and experiencing animals living naturally is one of the most abiding thrills of my life. I cannot imagine living without this deeply centering experience. I just read today that 20 of The Yellowstone wolf pack have been shot when they left the confines of the park. These wolves were reintroduced to save them, and I have watched the packs hunt, a thrill of a lifetime. When will we learn? When wild animals and habitats are gone, they are gone forever, as we will be as a species, if we are not far more careful, far more quickly. დდ

  34. Pingback: Easy, Mindful & Delicious Ways to Make a Difference for Animals

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