Over the last few years, the sea lion population in the Cabo San Lucas coastline has drastically increased. So much so that the animals have become a staple in certain parts near the Cabo San Lucas Marina.
As many people who live along the Pacific Coast can attest to, these animals tend to be very open to contact with humans.
Recently, for example, a tourist on a Cabo fishing trip had a bit of a disagreement with a sea lion over who was the rightful owner of a fish caught in the person’s hook line.
Ultimately it was the sea lion that made away with the prize. These encounters between people and sea lions are becoming more common.
So much so that local authorities have contacted foreign embassies to issue warnings to tourists from those countries that come to Los Cabos.
Dona Jeffries, the local directress of Tourism, warned tourists to not feed these animals. Recently saying,
“We have worked to inform the Canadian and United States embassies so that foreign citizens are aware when they come to Los Cabos that they should not feed marine species. They should not give them anything to eat since this can represent a danger to the health of sea lions, turtles, and other species that inhabit the sea.”
Both Sea Lions & Tourists Have Been Known To Ignore These Warnings
Although local authorities do their best to ensure that tourists are not constantly feeding the wildlife around Cabo, this can be hard to avoid sometimes.
It turns out that the scenario that we described above, with a sea lion boarding a boat to steal fish from local fishermen and sports fishing enthusiasts, has found its way into local lore in Cabo.
Apparently back in 2013 a sea lion jumped out of the water to snatch a fish out of the hands of a proud fisherman who was displaying his catch in the Cabo San Lucas Marina.
The sea lion would continue its tendency to board boats and snatch fish from a special container that many fishing yachts have to hold the most recent catches.
Miren que bonito “pancho”, el famoso león marino de Los Cabos, México. 🦭 ☀️ pic.twitter.com/htLZ82aU8u— Ares Pinto (@ares_pinto) April 13, 2023
This sea lion was baptized as “Pancho,” and it would continue interacting with both boats and people along the coastline near the marina for years.
This particular animal got so famous that they erected a statue in its honor. It’s the statue located on Paseo de la Marina in the entrance to Plaza Bonita that’s become a popular picture spot.
In spite of the fact that sea lions have essentially learned to ask tourists walking through the marina for food, this is a practice that local authorities want people to refrain from.
Attacks By Sea Lions On Humans Have Been Recorded Recently
Another reason that tourists may want to enjoy the presence of sea lions from a distance is the fact that attacks by these animals on humans in Cabo is something that has taken place recently.
Back in late January, there were reports that a man walking along the Cabo San Lucas marina was bit in the leg by a sea lion.
The man suffered serious injuries and had to be driven off to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Local fishermen tell of a worse attack in which a woman was dragged back into the water by a seal lion. In the water, the animal bit and scratched the woman multiple times.
Thankfully she was rescued and was able to receive proper medical treatment. The encounter led to her having over 300 stitches placed in different parts of her body.
Again locals believe that it was one overly aggressive sea lion that was behind both attacks.
Tourists Are Encouraged To Enjoy The Presence of Sea Lions, But Be Careful Around Them
Sea lions typically use many of the rocks that are a common staple of Los Cabos beaches to lay out and sunbathe. As previously stated, they’ve found a spot near the Cabo San Lucas Marina that they seem to enjoy.
The best part for tourists is that there’s no tour required to be able to spot these animals. With these recent attacks having taken place, it’s a good idea for travelers to admire these animals at a distance.
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