Don’t mess with a pregnant mom. That’s what the federal government decided after elephant seals invaded a beach usually reserved for human use.
Drakes Beach, which is part of the Point Reyes National Seashore, north of San Francisco, California, is usually cleared of seals by federal employees, so it can be used by humans. Normally, employees use tarps to drive the seals back in the water, but when those employees were furloughed during the government shutdown, almost 100 seals set up shop on Drakes Beach to have their babies.
Even though the employees who usually moved the seals off the beach have returned to work, the government has decided to leave the seals on the beach until the babies are ready to go to sea.
Meanwhile, guided tours are being offered to allow the humans to observe the seals from a safe distance. You can read more about it in this Washington Post story.
A male elephant seal can weigh in at more than two tons. They’re fast and capable of crushing a car. If a protective mom isn’t enough to scare you, a ticked off daddy certainly should.