The sea lions of Galápagos

My best experience on the Galapagos Islands was swimming with four baby sea lions off the coast on the island of Rabida. They swam with my group for about 100 metres along the coast: swimming up to my face and pausing there while they examined my features; they swam between us; over me, under me and alongside me. It was actually one of the best moments in all my travels. They are such wonderful animals.

[Below] The babies are extremely curious and come right up to you as you stand on the beach. But it's very important not to touch them - our guide said that the slightest touch will attach your smell to them, which if the mother smells, she will abandon her baby which will consequently die.

[Above and Below] At the fisherman’s market there is a always a gathering of animals hoping for an easy feed. Usually pelicans, herons, noddys, the odd blue-footed booby and, finally, one or two sea lions. The sea lions, being the cutest, usually get the best feed.

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