The government shutdown left the country in a bit of disarray, especially when it came to our National Park system. One such affected park was Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, California. Due to the furloughed workers, a large group of elephant seals has overrun the park's parking lot. And to many of the guest's surprise, it's peak mating season for these critters.
Drakes Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore was taken over by a colony of elephant seals during the government shutdown.
According to the park's spokesperson, John Dell'Osso, workers would have typically shaken tarps at the animals when they were making their way into the parking lot. However, due to the government shutdown those workers were furloughed.
The seals are currently nursing their pups and will be doing so until late March or early April.
"We are not going to interfere with that process whatsoever."
To many of the park visitor's surprise, it is also peak mating season for the animals.
So, on Saturday, Drake Beach's more than 1,000 visitors not only got to witness nursing seals, they also saw a giant bull elephant male mating with a female in the parking lot.
Male elephant seals can weigh between 4,000 to 6,000 pounds and measure between 12 to 18 feet in length.
The females are significantly smaller at about 10 feet in length and only 1,500 pounds.
It's quite the sight.
100 California elephant seals conquered a National Park beach during the government shutdown, and now they're using… https://t.co/ayrJrC5GB9— INSIDER (@INSIDER)1549376703.0
The image has people in fits of giggles.
@AllisonLCarter That photo. I just.— Alessandra Souers (@Alessandra Souers)1549307045.0
The giant mammals are getting comfortable. *Really* comfortable. https://t.co/5k6to6JCrQ— Kelcie Pegher (@Kelcie Pegher)1549307112.0
Warning: this post includes adult seal content https://t.co/pHFh38VP42— FMR (@FMR)1549384422.0
There is a serendipitous #scicomm #informaleducation #interpretativeranger outcome here but you have to stop laugh… https://t.co/XWYajkeijQ— Captain Leslie (@Captain Leslie)1549323045.0
A TRUMP SHUTDOWN LOVE STORY ❤️💔❤️💔 “They came up to the parking lot to procreate,” said park spokesman John Dell’O… https://t.co/wsrf42Gjsf— Shelby Grad (@Shelby Grad)1549312908.0
this story rules https://t.co/M8wQz9bYfF— 𝙅𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙨 𝙈𝙘𝙇𝙚𝙤𝙙 (@𝙅𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙨 𝙈𝙘𝙇𝙚𝙤𝙙)1549318272.0
“They came up to the parking lot to procreate. So that was lovely." THIS IS THE JOURNALISM WE NEED FOLKS https://t.co/SEsQSQs19N— McKenna Oxenden (@McKenna Oxenden)1549328706.0
The post-shutdown story no one expected, courtesy of @jpanzar https://t.co/C8xz2YbxfM— Colleen Shalby (@Colleen Shalby)1549307241.0
@latimes Is this an Onion post???🤣— ng ng ng ⛷🛷⛷🛷⛷🛷 (@ng ng ng ⛷🛷⛷🛷⛷🛷)1549316382.0
@latimes https://t.co/QWINrummf1— PerlaR (@PerlaR)1549316487.0
When describing they seals' takeover of the park, Dell'Osso said:
"They came up to the parking lot to procreate. So that was lovely."
We are inclined to agree.