Elephant seals reclaimed this California beach during government shutdown

When the recent federal government shutdown caused national parks to close, something unexpected happened on one California beach: a herd of sea elephants took over. With no humans occupying the beach, as many as 100 elephant seals decided to take refuge on the beach and call it home just in time for the breeding season. And don’t worry, the National Park Service isn’t going to open the beach up to the public until the breeding season is over, allowing the elephant seals to care for their pups in peace. In California, elephant seals are a feel-good conservation story. They were nearly hunted to extinction in California, but have since staged an impressive comeback.

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