If you close your eyes and listen, you might think you are in the echoing halls of a labyrinthine restroom as the entire population of a broken cruse ship strive to handle food-poisoning. Yet, the sound of moist flatulence is actually coming from a different orifice and species.⠀
The male elephant seals of Vista Point in San Simeon will not be ignored. They rule their territory and defend it loudly and violently from younger, challenging males. It may not be graceful, but when one of these giants starts lurching across the beach, females, infants, and intruding males had better scramble out of the way.
Seasons of the Elephant Seal
It starts in November. The males arrive and the competition for dominance begins. By the time we approach the Elephant Seal Vista Point in San Simeon, territory had been staked, females had been won, and young pups are scattered across the beach defended by their mothers. ⠀
Observing the elephant seals recline on the beach, nudge each other for space, and posture is like watching some marine soap opera unfold along a single stretch of beach.⠀
We are delighted that we arrived during prime Elephant Seal season. This coming month with see most of the adults leave the beach. The weaned pups will begin to explore the beach on their own before beginning their own journeys in the sea.