New Zealand Wildlife 3: Juvenile Delinquent Sea Lion

comments 15
Nature / New Zealand / Photo Log / Photography / Wildlife


June 28, 2018, Otago Peninsula, New Zealand. This is a bonus post. A few minutes before yesterday’s shots were made, this bigshot chased us off the beach. Tony told us this guy had been troublesome at times and had chased several people away. He told us to run if he started chasing. Run fast. New Zealand sea lions can sprint 26 kmh. (16 mph.)

My wife got the lead shot before he decided to mess with us. (First time I’ve posted one of her shots. Won’t be the last.)


I grabbed this shot an instant before he started to move on us. As a photographer, I must say that the shoot-or-run decision creates a noticeable amount of mental conflict — shoot or be squashed — but in the end, the desire not to be steamrollered by nine hundred pounds of testosterone-infused adolescent sea lion with infectious teeth won out. One shot and I ran.

Once we reached safety, he dejectedly lumbered away. We thought we could hear him mutter under his breath, “Gee Officer Krupke.”

(Nikon D750, 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 AF-P ED VR; Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. Most animals have a comfort zone but, as with this guy, it can expand. “Discretion is the better part of valor” and you were smart to get your one shot and then hightail it for safer ground. Your wife’s shot gives him an adorable quality or that of a big puppy dog. Appearances can be deceiving.

    Liked by 1 person

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