Are Sea Lions Dangerous to Be Around?

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So today I took the zodiac out of Whittier for the first time and caught a few rockfish, which was a blast. Being on a zodiac I got fairly close to a lot of marine wildlife. A humpback whale breached the surface about 30 yards from me or so, tons of harbor seals, some sea otters, and some sea lions.
I find the sea lions fairly intimidating. They're big beasts and they seem a little more curious of me then I care for. On a few occasions one got pretty close, breached, blew air real loud and snarled while looking me dead in the eye. Pretty intimidating given I was on a 12 foot inflatable, as was the whale.
My question is, are these things typically dangerous and can they try and board your boat or become territorial? I've heard of them attacked people in the past, under rare circumstances, but I am curious if this is anything to worry about or not.
Thanks ahead of time for any replies.
 

iofthetaiga

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No, the threat level is not worth worrying about...but the answer to all your questions is "yes". They weigh about 1000# and can board your boat in the blink of an eye, if they want to. Don't ever feed them or do anything to make them more interested in you, and if there's one in the vacinity don't splash your hands around over the side. If you're fishing and one persists in being interested in your activity it's best to pickup and move somewhere else.
 

Daveinthebush

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We see them all the time and have never really had an issue. One tried several times to catch a salmon on the hook being brought in. I have lost one fish shaped down rigger to something outside the rookery at Glacier and had another grab a cannon ball. Last week in town, a big one left the ocean, crossed several roads and ended up at the gas station and had to be herded back to the water. Other than that, no issues. I have seen videos of them climbing on boats and one of a little girl being pulled off of a dock. Really cases are rare, and I wouldn't worry about it.
 

4merguide

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From what I've seen, the boats that they crawl up on have all been vacant, like on anchor or in a harbor with no action onboard. Knowing there is a human on board probably detours them. But still, being in a little raft like that, and having one that doesn't seem to want to leave you alone, I don't think I'd stick around very long. There's no telling what one might do. Once we were halibut fishing in about a 16' boat not far from shore. We had seen a sealion pop its head up from time to time a little ways away and didn't think much of it. But all of a sudden the sucker surfaced about three feet from the stern. Head looked the size of a brown bear, mouth wide open taking a loud massive breath, and baring those huge fangs! Needless to say, it scared the livin'-be-Jesus out of us, and the guy closest to the stern jumped back and landed in my lap. Then the dang thing went down and grabbed the herring bait and took off. He was about to spool the guy, and I kept yelling "Cut your line, cut your line!" before he finally let go. Guess the hook may have stung him a little cause we didn't see him again after that.
 

mark knapp

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There's a video of one grabbing a little girl off a dock. She was OK but shocked. One lunged at me from a buoy once but I was admittedly too close. They mostly sink unattended boats. I like them but respect them.
 

iofthetaiga

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Used to be some photos on this forum of instances where they boarded occupied boats. And there are occasional news reports of people being bit. Last one i recall was in SE, i believe, where a deckhand was sitting on the gunwale of a boat and was bit in the ass/thigh...i seem to recall it took a big chunk out of him.
 

4merguide

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I
Used to be some photos on this forum of instances where they boarded occupied boats. And there are occasional news reports of people being bit. Last one i recall was in SE, i believe, where a deckhand was sitting on the gunwale of a boat and was bit in the ass/thigh...i seem to recall it took a big chunk out of him.
I've heard of seals biting divers cause they're always so curious. I guess leopard seals are the worst. But I've never heard of a sealion biting a person. I could see how that could turn real bad in a hurry!
 

4merguide

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Ouch! It's one thing to be bitten by one and something else entirely to try and be dragged into the water to finish you off by one! Dang!
 

urbanhillbilly

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The human population is the one that has exploded. Maybe if more of us got "harvested" we might learn some respect?
That’s the spirit, shift the whole concept of predator management towards humans… “Natural Selection” at it’s finest… or is it?
 

iofthetaiga

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That’s the spirit, shift the whole concept of predator management towards humans… “Natural Selection” at it’s finest… or is it?
The idea that killing a wild animal somehow teaches the remaining wild animals to respect us has got to be the absolute purest example of human arrogance. As far as predator management goes; we are the single most abundant, prolific, dangerous, destructive, uncontrolled predator on the face of the Earth. Who controls us?
 

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