When the government shut down for 34 days, order normally maintained by federal employees was lost. There were many consequences the country faced — but perhaps one of the more unexpected outcomes was that a battalion of Elephant seals overtook a California beach. As many as 50 seals knocked down a fence, claiming Drakes Beach and the accompanying parking lot as their own.
Now, they are using their new property for sex.
According to the Los Angeles Times, two of the seals went to the parking lot to mate — in front of a crowd of tourists who came to the park to see the new residents.
“They came up to the parking lot to procreate,” Point Reyes National Seashore spokesman John Dell’Osso told the Los Angeles Times. “So that was lovely.
Dell’Osso described the exhibitionist pair of seals as one large male — they can weigh up to 6,000 pounds — and one smaller female seal. “You could barely see the female,” said Dell’Osso.
Even the with the public displays of affection, the seal invasion has been warmly welcomed. Nearly 1,300 people came to the park for a guided tour of the seals, getting as close as 40 yards to the seals. “People were incredibly appreciative to see these animals as close as you can see them,” Dell’Osso said. (Before shutdown, you could only see the seals from a quarter of a mile away.)
Dell’Osso says the park is in no rush to shoo away the sea mammals now that the government has reopened. Most of the large, majestic, creatures have vacated the parking lot now, but park rangers won’t bother the few that remain. “We are not going to interfere with that process whatsoever,” Dell’Osso said.