During the summer I spent in La Jolla at the Clarion Writer's Workshop, I enjoyed hanging out in the cove and writing with the sea lions. But I do recall one night, just as the sun was setting. I was having a beer, standing just a few feet away from one of the big ol' blubber balls, when some idiot tourist took a picture with the flash on. The sea lion did not appreciate the sudden blinding light in its eyes, and blamed it on the nearest human — me. It growled and snapped its jaws in my direction, making sure that I did not forget that it was called a lion for a reason.
I tried to apologize, but I ended up just kind of shuffling away instead. Whoever took the actual photo had already high-tailed it and ran.
This memory came back to me as I watched the video above, where — once again — some idiot tourist got all up in a sea lion's shit, and the lion of the sea responded with adorably righteous rage. Good, I say.
A little more context, courtesy of the local NBC news affiliate:
"I started recording because it was really funny to watch for me because to see all these tourists getting blown away by these giant sea lions," described Charlianne Yeyna. She was visiting La Jolla Friday when she noticed folks were getting too close to the sea lions.
"The sea lions were sleeping and were just massive on the beach and I was just watching them and this woman got really close to them, like 4 feet away, and was trying to take a photo of it up close, and it just woke up and started chasing everybody," Yeyna said.
Yeyna said most people on the beach were being respectful and she hopes her video will be a learning experience for visitors.
"I'm glad that it went viral to raise awareness of how dangerous that they can be.
Like, they are still wild animals and you need to give them their space. They're also protected. So I think that this shows that they are not to be messed with," Yeyna summed up.
Sea Lions Chase Away Beachgoers at La Jolla Cove [Ramon Galindo and Renee Schmiedeberg / NBC San Diego]