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A seal decided to join human beach activity when it swam ashore at La Jolla Cove at 3 p.m. on September 28. No one could believe that the seal would come so close to people who were resting on the shore. Most seal encounters happen when people are in the water.

A snorkeler ran out of the water to tell the lifeguard that the seal had followed him around threateningly while he was minding his own business. The man said he was frightened by the seal — that it appeared angry. Then, he inquired if seals ever bite swimmers.

The lifeguard laughed and told the man that seals were not dangerous and, if anything, would just try to nip a swimmer if they got too close. However, this rarely happened. The man seemed satisfied but still expressed shock that the seal had supposedly followed him on to the shore.

Soon, a woman asked the lifeguard if the seal was ill or hurt. She said it seemed to be strange that it swam up to all the people and then just lay down. She said the seal even chased her out of her spot on the beach. She was there with a bunch of other women who were worried about the seal’s well-being.

The lifeguard was not concerned…more concerned with “keeping an eye out for people in the water,” he said. The busy lifeguard did say that this had happened before. “Seals need breaks, too”…and he said to quote him on this: “Please keep a safe distance from the seals.”

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aardvark Oct. 1, 2013 @ 5:25 p.m.

Time for another rope barrier...maybe put up another camera to watch for seal attacks on humans.


monaghan Oct. 1, 2013 @ 10:42 p.m.

San Diego is looking at major colonization of its La Jolla beaches by marine mammals.

We are talking sea lions and seals at the Cove, as in this case, and a major rookery of seals at Casa Cove to the south which is getting protected for half the year during pupping season. Where this will end is anyone's guess, but I'm glad I wasn't this close to an agitated seal on a crowded beach.


DanaMermaid Oct. 2, 2013 @ 1:12 p.m.

For the uninformed..La Jolla Cove Beach is a swimmers and tourist beach. It usually has about 50-100 people on it at any given time and hundreds of swimmers use this beach daily. It is not a "habitat" for the sea lions. This is not the same as the Children's beach that has been taken over by harbor seals and some crazy activists 1 mile south. The sea lions rest on the rocks and sandstone bluffs north and south of this beach and only land on this beach occasionally. Sea lions are not endangered, nor are they threatened by humans. They have shared these waters with us swimmers for over 100 years and I have never heard of anyone being hurt or attacked. EVER. We Swimmers will not allow the environmentalists to take this beach from us too. It is the best world class designated swimming area in all of San Diego county. This beach is OURS!


shirleyberan Oct. 2, 2013 @ 4:25 p.m.

If you swim at the beach, you swim with all kinds of wildlife. Get over your mermaid self Dana. The guy needed a rest, he lives here too.


LJgirl Oct. 2, 2013 @ 5:22 p.m.

Well said, Shirley. Dana is clearly uninformed herself. Even worse, she is obviously extemely selfish with an incredible sense of entitlement! The beach is NOT yours! The cove, casa beach & the ocean are ALL the sea lion & seals' natural habitat. You, Dana are selfish to demand that the cove be your personal swimming area. Go find a pool.. You don't deserve to share the cove with the sea lions. Sad how many humans have no respect & consideration for marines mammals

p.s.. The crazy "activists" you mention are animal lovers that relentlessly try to help the seals that have called casa beach their home for MANY years. These seals & their newborn pups endure harassment daily.. I've witnessed this myself. I live 1 block away. We are so fortunate to have the harbor seals. The vast majority of people & children love the seals. You are part of the small group of selfish people that just can't share 2 small beaches in la Jolla. Shame on you!


Yankeedoodle Oct. 2, 2013 @ 8:15 p.m.

Much ado about nothing. Those seals are very friendly, like puppies. If someone feels uncertain about their attentions, he or she asks the lifeguard. Where is the news in that? The sea lions have a bit more dignity.


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