Monday, March 22, 2010

Elephant Seals of Ano Nuevo

Sometimes the most amazing sights are right in your backyard. A little over an hour's drive south from San Francisco is Ano Nuevo State Park which is the largest breeding colony of the northern elephant seal.A little over 100 years ago the elephant seal was almost hunted to extinction with only around 100 seals remaining before they were protected. Today there are over 150,000 elephant seals alive today and many of the return yearly to Ano Nuevo to breed.

My trip to Ano Nuevo was late in the breeding season. Most of the female seals actually had already given birth and returned to the ocean. Left behind were their offspring, a few months old and weighing a few hundred pounds each. During the warm sunny day they try and conserve their energy sleeping on the beach and they also learn how to practice to swim in the ocean and be prepared to take care of themselves once they are off the safety of the land.Not all the seals make it to the ocean unfortunately. Along with the living are the young ones who are unable to survive...

But it is an amazing place to see nature up close and a beautiful place as well. If you want to find out more about visiting Ano Nuevo check out the California States Park Website for Ano Nuevo and some background information about the elephant seals.

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