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Photographer's Note

Elephant seals are amongst the largest of the various seals. They represent one of the greatest comebacks recorded. In the 1890’s they had been virtually wiped out by whalers, who valued their vast stores of fat. In 1892, a tiny colony of fewer than 20 animals was discovered on Guadalupe Island, off Baja California. It was protected, and the species made a spectacular comeback; the herd now numbers about 115,000 seals, which breed on offshore islands from Baja California north to San Francisco. In fact, their numbers have grown so much, that they are re-establishing colonies along the shores of California. They are also among the deepest divers of marine mammals, reaching depths in excess of 5,000 feet.

This individual appears to be a young bachelor and was dozing separate from the rest of the colony, which was located a bit farther north. Though from what I have read, they prefer sandy beaches, this one had found a pile of kelp among the rocks and was dozing quite blissfully on top of it.

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Additional Photos by Ned Messerschmidt (nmess) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 558 W: 78 N: 414] (2301)
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