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Seals & Sea Lions

As a child, I often visited the zoo with my father to practice my budding photography skills. Though many animals caught my fancy over the years, the exhibit that most captivated me without fail was the sea lions. The Bronx Zoo sea lions, in particular, had a tendency to how off for the crowd's amusement, and in those analog days, the average trip to the zoo would end with my pre-teen self wailing because my parents denied me a third or fourth roll of film to document the barking mammals' aquatic antics.

Decades later, I retain a special fondness for sea lions and seals. In May 2019, my father was the one, fittingly, to show me around the Oregon coast near his new home, where both species thrive in the wild.

Two sea lions bark at each other in a dispute over space. Three sea lions bark at each other in a squabble over space.

Lead, Left, & Right:Lead, Top & Bottom: A colony of sea lions occupies a platform in Newport, OR. In between napping, individuals frequently awake to bark loudly at each other in squabbles over space.

A sea lion naps on the corner of a platform in Newport, OR. A young sea lion looks towards its fellows from the edge of a platform in Newport, OR.

Left:Top: A sea lion naps on the corner of a platform in Newport, OR.

Right:Bottom: A young sea lion looks towards its fellows from the edge of a platform in Newport, OR.

Temporarily vacating the platform where its fellows nap and vy for space, a sea lion swims in the ocean just off of Newport, OR.

Temporarily vacating the platform where its fellows nap and vy for space, a sea lion swims in the ocean just off of Newport, OR.

A seal pokes its head briefly out of the water in Siletz Bay, Lincoln City, OR.

A seal pokes its head briefly out of the water in Siletz Bay, Lincoln City, OR.

A seal swims alongside a seagull in Siletz Bay, Lincoln City, OR, on May 3, 2019. Three seals swim and play in Siletz Bay, Lincoln City, OR, on May 3, 2019.

Left:Top: A seal swims alongside a seagull in Siletz Bay, Lincoln City, OR.

Right:Bottom: Three seals swim and play in Siletz Bay, Lincoln City, OR.

Not everything is a matter of play for the seals. On the shore of Siletz Bay, several species of bird gather around the carcass of a baby seal.

Not everything is a matter of play for the seals. On the shore of Siletz Bay, several species of bird gather around the carcass of a baby seal.