15 Apr 2007

Elephant Seal Hazard at Russian River

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JENNER, Calif.- Nibbles the elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is defying his tame nickname by killing smaller seals, menacing a kayaker and chomping on a surfer and a dog on the northern California coast.

The 2,000-pound lone male is seen frequently at the Russian River outlet to the Pacific, and local marine recreational outlets are warning the public about the seal’s aggression.

On Easter Sunday, the seal grabbed an 80-pound pit bull and only let her go after he was attacked by the dog’s owner.

“I was throwing a stick in the water for the dog,” Angel Garcia said. The dog “started to shake when this torpedo thing launched itself out of the water and grabbed her.”

On Tuesday, Nibbles growled at a kayaker, scaring him out of the water, said Suki Waters of Water Treks, a kayaking tour company.

Surf shop worker Craig Henderson said the seal and local surfers share the same turf. “It is scary when he jumps in the water with you. He is huge, like a VW bug or something,” he said.

Brit Horn, a California State Parks lifeguard, said the seal has been seen killing smaller harbor seals. They’ve now moved to other areas along the Sonoma County coast.

The elephant seal is an adolescent who likely hangs out alone at the river mouth because he is too small to compete for females at elephant seal colonies, Horn said. Adults can grow to 14 feet long and 4,500 pounds.

In a sane world, someone would shoot that seal before he hurts somebody, but “Nibbles” is in California, land of the moonbat tree-huggers, so he can look forward to nibbling on whomever he wants.

2 Feedbacks on "Elephant Seal Hazard at Russian River"

Will Stevens

The harbor seals have been stacked up like cordwood for years at the mouth of the Russian River. People think they are “cute”. When the mouth of the river opens up in the fall, salmon and steelhead try to get upstream to the hatchery where they were raised. Naturally the seals clobber the fish. Then we get stories of how we have low runs of fish on the Russian River and fishing must be halted. The hatchery is operated essentially to supply food for seals. I have been an advocate of a seal “hunting” season for years but it will never come to pass, as people in Sonoma County and the Russian River area are loonier than their counterparts in Berkeley.


I agree that boaters should be warned, but wild animals should be allowed to be wild.
Kayaking, rafting, canoeing & tubing guide for the Russian River.


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