Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most diverse and fascinating creatures on the planet. Once called "Hell on earth" due to its harsh weather and unforgiving terrain, it is home to an abundance of animals that have adapted to life in this hostile environment.
The sea lions are a perfect example of creatures who thrive here. They inhabit almost every beach and rocky shore in this beautiful world. Living in colonies of several dozen females and a large, bull male, the female sea lions spend their days relaxing on the beach and feeding their young, then venturing into the ocean to hunt for food. They spend a few hours at sea, looking for octopus, fish, crabs, squid, and eels. They return to the beach with a full belly and sleep while their babies nurse contentedly.
This mother sea lion has just returned from her morning excursion and her baby greeted her excitedly at the water's edge. She flopped down on the sand and he has done the same. When she gets comfortable, he will start nursing until his belly is also full. But first, he has noticed the small camera sitting on the sand near the tide pool where he has been playing with the other sea lion babies. He is too curious to resist closely investigating this interesting and strange object. Even his young sea lion buddy becomes curious when he sees the fun and he comes over to have a look and a sniff too.
Sea lions are abundant on the beaches here and the tourists take great delight in their antics. They are much like dogs, our furry companions, in both their appearances and their personalities that people are drawn to them to watch them and to photograph them. As tempting as it is to pick up a cuddly little sea lion, it would mean certain death for the youngster, as sea lion mothers reject their young if they smell like a human. Occasionally, sea lion mothers are killed by predators such as large sharks out in the open ocean. When they fail to return, the babies wander the beach crying pitifully. It is one of the saddest sounds in nature and the baby will starve without its mother. Sea lions will not adopt the young of another sea lion.
When a sea lion cries at the shore and is then reunited with its mother, it is one of the happiest moments imaginable.