Don’t Something the Elephant Seals

May 1, 2008

A chance question in a museum book store.

A challenge wrapped in an unpurchased book.

Skipping ahead what is the symbol for people and elephant seals not mixing? Seems kind of obvious but the lean makes it just ambiguous enough. Don’t feed the elephant seals? Don’t pet the elephant seals? Don’t point at the elephant seals?

It’s been long enough I don’t really remember but I think the biggest hazard I saw was the desire to get closer to take a picture. The fence is there for a reason. Don’t climb over the fence to take a picture – you might get crushed.

But the symbol above has the elephant seal looking up and the human, presumably male since the figure is not wearing a dress, leaning down. But don’t do it.


2 Responses to “Don’t Something the Elephant Seals”

  1. pfmagic Says:

    That is not an elephant seal. That is an adult male sea lion – most likely either a Stellar or California Sea Lion. True seals, like elephant and harbor seals, cannot rotate their rear flippers as seen in this sign. The sea lion’s head has a saggital crest, which develops in males after they become adults.

    Perhaps the sign is warning against jumping in the air adjacent to adult male sea lions – as everyone knows, sea lions hate trampolines and clowns. There are several documented cases of sea lions attacking clowns or people on trampolines.

  2. boldlentil Says:

    Ah well too late to correct the post title. I’m not so good with my aquatic mammal identification. Now I have to find a trampoline icon.

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