|The Sea Lions of Peninsula Valdes
South American sea lions prefer to breed on beaches made of sand, but will breed on gravel, rocky or pebble beaches, as well.
Sea lion colonies tend to be small and scattered. South American sea lions consume numerous fish, including Argentine hake and
anchovies They also eat cephalopods, such as shortfin squid, Patagonian squid and octopus.
Mating occurs between August and December, and the pups are born between December and February. Sea lion mothers remain
with their newborn pups for nearly a week before making a routine of taking three day foraging trips and coming back to nurse the
pups. Pups first enter the water at about four weeks and are weaned at about 12 months.
There are several colonies on the beaches on the northern part of the Peninsula, and it is these colonies that we came to
observe for Orca attacks on sea lion pups.
See the people on the right. This is the location at the Attack Channel where we sat next to the BBC photographers on the four
days that we had beach permits for this location. This area is inaccessible by Orcas except at high tide when the Orca can
approach the beach through a channel in the reef. This is said to be the number one spot on the Peninsula to observe Orca
This photo of pups retreating from the ocean was taken moments after an orca successfully grabbed one of the pups.