Elephant seals

A small herd of elephant seals has taken over a popular tourist spot in Northern California, the AP reports. They got away with it because they moved in during the federal government shutdown, and there were no park staff members around to shoo them away, as was the custom. The interlopers are shown, courtesy of Point Reyes National Seashore.

And, while the 60 adults were lounging around and enjoying their new residence, 35 pups were born. A bit more room was needed, so the group has spread out into the parking lot, as well.

Now that the uninvited guests have settled in, there are no plans to move them. The park staff is, however, considering making the best of the situation, and offering guided tours of the seal colony.

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Daily Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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