Elephant seals take over California beach during shutdown

Mail Online | 1/31/2019 | Stephanie Haney For Dailymail.com;Associated Press
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A colony of elephant seals has taken over a beach in Northern California, taking advantage of the government shutdown.

About 60 adult seals that gave birth to 35 pups took over a beach in Point Reyes National Seashore, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday.

Fence - Parking - Lot - Staff - Animals

They knocked down a fence and moved into the parking lot while there was no staff to discourage the animals from congregating in the popular tourist area, an official said, and they don't appear to be going anywhere.

The park north of San Francisco is home to a colony of about 1,500 elephant seals that tend to frequent another beach with 100-foot-tall (30 meter) cliffs that keep the animals protected and mostly hidden from the public, park spokesperson John Dell'Osso said.

Dell'Osso - Storms - Tides - Animals - Habitat

Dell'Osso said it's likely recent storms and high tides inundated the animals' normal habitat with water and so they sought a wider swath of dry land around the corner.

'Sometimes you go out with tarps and you shake the tarps and it annoys them and they move the other direction,' he said.

Migration - Government - Shutdown - December - Record

The migration occurred during the 35 day-long partial government shutdown, which began on December 22 and is now the longest on record.

While park staff were furloughed, locals like Teresa Baker, who founded a community group called African American Nature & Parks Experience, picked up the slack and helped with trash cleanup.

Days - Collection - Point - Reyes - Baker

'I spent the last few days helping with trash collection in Point Reyes,' Baker wrote on January 7.

'I was so concerned with the reporting of how our national parks are being trashed.

'I - NOT - Trash - Problem - People

'I can report that there was NOT a huge trash problem or a people behaving badly, problem. I was able to capture some of the wildlife in the area...from...
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