Harbor Seal in Shallow Waters

This Harbor Seal surfaced long enough to get its picture taken in an unusual spot.  This was not the relatively deep water and active currents of the bay on the west or north sides of Cesar Chavez Park, where seals show up from time to time.  This was in the shallow and relatively brackish water of the North Basin, east of the park.  This day, the marine mammal surfaced about 150 yards south of the Open Circle promontory and only about 50 yards from the park’s eastern shore.  The previous week, I had seen this or a similar animal within 30 yards of the southern shore of the cove, where the water is so shallow that egrets stalk in it at low tide.  It’s quite unusual to see a seal or a sea lion in this area.  Was there good fishing?  Or was the animal lost?

It’s hard to tell seals and sea lions apart.  In this case I’m fairly confident that it’s a seal because it has bare ear holes, and it does not have little ear flaps that cover its ear holes, as sea lions do.

You can get more information about these animals at the Marine Mammal Center, or read up on them on Wikipedia.

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