One Big Gulp Thing: Watch Out Sea Lion!

Photo: Chase Dekker, via The Washington Post

Off the coast of California on July 22nd, a wildlife photographer Chase Dekker caught a rare moment on film — a humpback whale coming up and “encountering” a sea lion that had been feasting on anchovies.  Talk about wrong place, wrong time!  Dekker shared his incredible photo with The Washington Post and they asked Ari Friedlaender, an ecologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz who is an expert on the foraging behavior of marine mammals, to explain it.  Friedlander told The Post “This was a once-in-a-million time that the sea lion zigged when it should have zagged and kind of got taken for a ride,” he said, adding that there was “no intent by the whale to eat the sea lion.” Wow!  We had to share this “once in a lifetime” pic!  And just in case you were worried,  Friedlaender believes the sea lion was fine just a bit tossed.  Humpback whales can’t eat anything that big — they feast on tiny crustaceans called krill!

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