Sea lions take over dock at Moss Landing, California

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Moss Landing within Monterey County, California.
Sea lions at the new dock, Moss landing.

Moss Landing, California, United States is a small community on the shore of Monterey Bay. In April of 2007, the community installed a dock for visitors at a cost of US$800,000. Since then, the new dock has been taken over by hundreds of sea lions.

Harbor officials estimate there are more than 400 of them on the dock. The gangway, which leads to the dock, is closed. A sign reads: "Do not approach. Vicious Sea Lions."

Boaters and kayakers cannot use the new dock. Wikinews observed kayakers trying to paddle as far away as possible from the dock and its new residents.

Quite a few tourists were seen stopping to take pictures of the new Moss Landing attraction. Harbor officials have tried to make the sea lions leave, but the sea lions seem to like it there. They can be seen fighting and playing all around the dock in the harbor.

Sea lions in California are protected under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. They are generally found in shallow waters of coastal areas of both with abundant food resources.

Visitors might also find sea otters at Moss Landing, as Wikinews did. Sea otters are more rare and much harder to find in the wild than sea lions. While the recovery of the sea otter is considered an important success in marine conservation, it remains an endangered species. The otter is also considered to be a keystone species.

Parallels could be drawn between Moss Landing and the docks at Pier 39 in San Francisco, which were famously taken over by sea lions in 1990 and has become a familiar tourist attraction. It remains to be seen if sea lions become a permanent part of Moss Landing.



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Wikipedia Learn more about sea lion and sea otter on Wikipedia.