Animals are mysterious creatures. Yet, the more we interact with them, the more we get to understand their behavior and become more sympathetic and tolerant toward them.
Such seems to be the case with a big sea lion who left his habitat to interact with humans who seemed to mostly tolerate his exploration into the depths of the fish market.
Interestingly, he was on his best behavior for his trip into human territory.
And so, the people there were somewhat compassionate towards him. At least he wasn’t a thief or breaking anything.
He managed to wait patiently for the fish rather than trying to raid anyone’s baskets.
A day at the fish market
The enormous sea lion was extraordinarily patient, practicing the greatest restraint as he waited to have the occasional fish tossed his way.
What is even more interesting is that, by virtue of his big body, a single fish seems like little more than a snack. He had to have been hungry for more than just a few extra fish.
While many of the people selling fish chose to ignore him and just go about their day, many more didn’t. Some sellers offered him fish from their stock, even though this sea lion clearly arrived at the market without a way to pay.
It looks like a visitor may have bought an extra fish just for him as well.
Should there be concern?
While it’s a unique moment that most people have appreciated seeing on video, there have been some concerns raised regarding this unusual behavior.
Is this a sea lion who has become more domesticated over time due to the proximity of people and the irresistible lure of the smell of the fish market, or is it a sign that he isn’t finding enough fish in the water that he usually catches his fish in?
People have asked why a sea lion would leave his natural habitat to come and beg for food from humans. Leaving the other sea lions to enter the fish market must have felt like it came with risks. It may have taken lots of nerve for that sea lion to come out, at least on his first trip to the market.
So, what was the driving force behind his action?
Wild animals don’t usually beg for food (not counting the city-dwelling counting pigeons who have had centuries to grow dependent on people in the urban environment, but even what they do isn’t quite begging).
For him to have preferred begging from humans rather than going for a swim to find food for himself could be a sign of a health problem, dwindling food sources, competition for scarce or contaminated resources, and harmful activities such as over-fishing.
It’s hard to tell for certain, although he does appear to have a proportionate sea lion body. There are no obvious signs of starving in this avid seaside fish devourer.
Maybe he just saw where all the fish ended up after being tossed out of the boats and decided that he wanted some for himself.
Either way, it looks like he got the catch of the day.
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Giving back what we take. A South American Sea Lion waits for his share at the local fish market
Posted by Nature Heaven on Thursday, May 9, 2019
Source: Bored Panda