April 14th, 2012 – Whidbey Island, Washington
On a recent Gray Whale watching cruise the boat came across a Steller Sea Lion sunbathing peacefully on a buoy just off Possession Point on the southern end of Whidbey Island. These are the largest Sea Lion species in this area and also one of the rarest to see as they are a shy creature and also sadly on the threatened species list due to a massive population decline.
It is hard to believe these large but docile looking creatures have been named after a fierce predator like the Lion.
But there is a very good reason why!
Further north in Whidbey Island in the little seaside town of Coupeville they have some interesting local wildlife displays on the landing jetty.
Check out those choppers!
The Steller Sea Lion is an opportunistic predator feeding on a wide variety of fish, octopus, squid and things like sea snails and sea slugs.
This particular one “Samson” was 8’4″ long and was estimated to have weighed 544kg / 1,200 pounds.
A large male can weigh up to around 1,000kg /2,200 pounds!
Looking at those fangs and the size of “Samson” it is clear to see why they are called a Sea Lion!