Sea lions chase beachgoers off popular beach: 'Made my day'
Two raucous sea lions had a day out clearing a popular tourist beach with their antics in a scene that was captured in a now viral video.
Charlianne Yeyna was down at La Jolla Cove in California last Friday when she managed to capture a video of two sea lions causing a scene.
The beach is packed and in the video, it appeared as though the sea lions were chasing after people on the beach — some scrambling to get out of their way.
Eventually the sea lions head for the water and swim off, with swimmers also trying to steer clear of them.
Speaking to NBC 7, Ms Yeyna explained she saw the two sea lions sleeping on the beach and then one woman tried to get a little too close to one of them.
She said the woman came within about a metre of one of the sea lions and then both the sea lions started chasing after people.
"These sea lions made my day yesterday," Ms Yeyna said on TikTok. The video has been viewed over 10 million times since it was shared just days ago.
She told NBC 7 she was concerned for the safety of the visitors on the beach, but no one was injured.
She pointed out there are signs at the beach alerting people to the sea lions and advising people to give them their space.
Point La Jolla is not only a popular tourist destination, but it's also a popular resting spot for sea lions, especially among mothers during the annual pupping season, which starts in early May and ends in October.
The City of San Diego says there has been an increase in interactions between the wild animals and people.
In some cases, members of the public have tried to touch the sea lions and even tried to take selfies with them, which is dangerous to both the animals and humans.
"I'm glad that it went viral to raise awareness of how dangerous they can be, like they are still wild animals and you need to give them their space," Ms Yeyna said.
Several people in the comments of Ms Yeyna's video celebrated the sea lions "reclaiming" La Jolla Cove and many said tourists were the problem at the beach.
"It’s literally their beach lol," one person said.
"Nature always finds a way," another person said.
Cute theory behind viral video
While it is likely a person on the beach tried to take a photo of a sleeping sea lion, which led to people being chased off the beach, one expert claimed they might not have been chasing people at all.
A spokesperson from SeaWorld San Diego said it seemed as though one sea lion was being chased by the other.
"You would really only notice if you watch a lot of sea lion behaviour, but the fact that one jumps in the water and the other does so quickly after shows they are following one another," they told NBC 7.
Regardless of what is going on in the hectic video, the spokesperson for SeaWorld advised people to keep their distance from the sea lions and not disturb them.
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