Sea lions in the Galapagos Islands inhabit most beaches and even rocky shores. They have been residents of the islands since long before people lived there. They act like they own the beach and it’s understandable that they feel this way. They live in complete harmony with the human inhabitants who have complete respect for the animals. People keep a respectful distance and insist that the tourists who are privileged to visit also do the same. In fact, the people are committed to not interfering with nature in any way. For this reason, sea lions pay little attention to people. They are often found sunbathing on the same sand, only a few feet apart. This can create some entertaining scenarios and it gives people a close up look at their funny behavior. Of course, the tourists here are not accustomed to the large animals spread out all over and they often snap pictures and record videos of these clowns of nature.<br><br>The babies can be playful and curious in the water and although people are expected to keep their distance, it can be impossible with these very agile creatures swimming in circles around you. It is one of the few times when it is acceptable to interact, carefully, with the animals, as it is completely on their terms and it can’t actually be avoided if they decide that it’s play time. The adult females are indifferent and will look at people with only mild curiosity. They are often too busy hunting for food or caring for their young. The adult males are completely different, and when they are sexually mature, they are territorial and aggressive with any other male sea lions and even with people.<br><br>This large male waddled up on the beach, barking to announce his presence, and claimed his spot beside a female from his colony. In an unusual and comical display of affection, he lay down beside her, snuggled up close and put a protective fin over her, exactly as a human would do. A baby sea lion lying nearby can be heard as he starts to cry for milk from his mom. He waddles over too but his timing is very unfortunate because the male does not want his lady or their cuddle time to be disturbed. The baby approaches and starts to move in but the bull barks and shakes his head. The baby is not deterred and the bull lunges at him with a pretend attempt to bite. The open mouth and big teeth are enough to give the baby second thoughts about milk and he scrambles away out of reach. He seems to be thinking of trying again as he circles around, but the bull gives him another warning. He waddles off camera but his cries of protest can be heard as the bull settles down again with the mother. Mom seems indifferent to both of them, clearly more interested in sleeping than in much else.<br><br>The bull gets comfortable again, adjusting his back fins on her face and then finally settles beside her, giving her an affectionate caress as they both drift off to sleep. For now, the milk will just have to wait.
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