I just wanted to do a quick appreciation post for one of my favorite pinnipeds of all time, Chippy the sea lion.
Sea lions generally stay, well, in the ocean. Chippy decided to swim 100 miles up the San Joaquin River and attached irrigation canals until a farmer found him chilling by the roadside. The farmer called the Highway Patrol, who raced to the scene, determined that yes, that was a sea lion, and called a higher authority (in this case the Marine Mammal Center). While they waited for the experts to arrive, Chippy decided that the trunk of the CHP patrol car would be an even better place for a nap, so he hauled his 300 lb self up there. (If you look closely in the pictures, you can see the dents he left). When the MMC staff and curious journalists arrived, he took the opportunity to pose winningly before being cajoled into a large crate and driven off to Sausalito. But in case his adventurous spirit and flagrant disrespect for the Law wasn’t enough to endear him to you, upon examination it was discovered that Chippy had done all this with a bullet lodged in his head. What. A. Badass.
Chippy was nursed back to health and released with a radio transmitter which tracked him around the Bay until he got tired of it and neatly deposited it on Pier 39 before going off to further, unknown adventures.
I’ve noticed that Tumblr has a serious problem with diversity… of baby seals! When you think “baby seal” you probably think of a white puffball on an ice floe, right? That indeed is a baby seal – specifically, it’s called a whitecoat. Harp seals, gray seals, and several other species have whitecoats (or pups which are at some point whitecoats). But if this is the only kind of baby seal you know about, you are missing out on an ocean (hah!) of cuteness. Take, for example, the Baikal seal!
(Take a look at the grown-up version, too, those things literally could not get any rounder).
The harbour seal!
The bearded seal!
The hooded seal!(seen here with its mummy).
The ribbon seal!
(I am told that adult ribbon seals are a mind-blowing sight, so maybe look those up too!)
The ringed seal!
The crabeater seal!
The weddell seal!
(um enormous QT alert amirite?)
The fur seal!
The leopard seal!
The elephant seal!
And, last but not least, the Hawaiian monk seal!
I hope this has given you a slight taste of the many cutiferous options which are available in the wide world of seals, and expanded your horizons to the tune of several magnificent animals.