Drew Haines is a young Canadian expat living in Ecuador. She writes the Galapagos for Kids series on Red Mangrove Blog. Learn about the Galapagos from a kids perspective.
If you ever get to go to the Galapagos Islands, you will (almost guaranteed) see many sea lions. They are big, black/brown, semi-sea creatures. They can grow up to about 8 feet (2. 4 meters) in length!
Both times we stayed at the Red Mangrove Lodge on Santa Cruz Island we saw sea lions on the patio of the little dock they have around the loge there. Now I won’t bet on it, but it is very probable that if you go to the Galapagos you will see them there on the patio. I also saw them sleeping on the zodiac’s (little speed boats) and the other boats out in front of the Lodge when the boats weren’t in use.
And once I saw them coming up the stairs of the dock to go sleep in their favorite little mesh corner on the deck! It was neat because they had just come out of the water and they were very shiny. This was something that we didn’t see on our first trip, so don’t be too disappointed if you don’t see it.
Galapagos Sea Lion Facts
Sea lions live mostly on sandy beaches; but they may live on rocky beaches. This way the pup’s can cool off in the water. Sea lions breed almost all year round, and the females can give birth between September and January. The females can give birth to a single pup only. The pup may weigh up to about 8 kg (18 lb). And the females will give birth only one time a year.
On land they seem to be very lazy, but in the water they are very swift and graceful. But don’t be fooled; just because they look lazy on land doesn’t mean they can’t bite hard … look out!
One male may dominate a large stretch of beach for 1 to 2 weeks if he is lucky. And with the beach come females and females on top of females! Younger males (juveniles) challenge the leader for his females and his beach. And when that happens there are bloody fight’s; not a pretty sight.
On an interview with Monica, the manager for Red Mangrove Lodges, we asked her what her favorite animal in the Galapagos was. She said she likes the sea lion but the only thing she doesn’t like is how many females the male has… (Monica had recently married Bolivar, a Galapagos tour leader so it was funny).