A Pacific harbor seal pup hauls out on a sandy beach. This group of harbor seals, which has formed a breeding colony at a small but popular beach near San Diego, is at the center of considerable controversy. While harbor seals are protected from harassment by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and other legislation, local interests would like to see the seals leave so that people can resume using the beach.
Species: Pacific harbor seal, Phoca vitulina richardsi
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 02162
Elephant seal pup scratches its face with its foreflipper. Note the five "fingernails" on the flipper. The pup will nurse for 27 days, when the mother stops lactating and returns to the sea. The pup will stay on the beach 12 more weeks until it becomes hungry and begins to forage for food.
Species: Elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris
Location: Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, California
Image ID: 20404