A pair of sea lions got the beach all to themselves after chasing visitors away from San Diego's La Jolla Cove on Friday.
In a viral TikTok video posted on July 9, the sea lions move along the sand towards dozens of sunbathers. The California beachgoers respond by rushing out of the charging animals' way. After making a bit more space on the shore, the sea lions dive into the water.
"I started recording because it was really funny to watch for me to see all these tourists getting blown away by these giant sea lions," Charlianne Yeyna told KNSD of their TikTok video, which has garnered over 9.8 million views.
Yeyna told the outlet that the marine mammals started moving toward beachgoers after a woman got too close to the sea lions.
"The sea lions were sleeping and were just massive on the beach, and I was just watching them, and this woman got really close to them, like four feet away, and was trying to take a photo of it up close, and it just woke up and started chasing everybody," she explained.
Yeyna added that sea lions are "still wild animals, and you need to give them their space."
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"You would really only notice if you watch a lot of sea lion behavior, but the fact that one jumps in the water and the other does so quickly after shows they are following one another," the spokesperson explained.
The spokesperson added, "People should be cautious and keep their space at a reasonable distance. Although sea lions may get close to visitors along the beach, it's always recommended that we/the public do not get close and interrupt their behavior."
While La Jolla Cove is open to visitors year-round, the San Diego City Council approved a seasonal closure of local beach Point La Jolla for sea lion mating season, according to KNSD. The beach is closed annually from May 1 to Oct. 31.