Entire Beach Chased Away After Woman Attempts Selfie With Sleeping Sea Lion

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

Ever seen two irritated sea lions clear a popular beach in the middle of tourist season? Well, that’s what happened at California’s La Jolla Beach this past weekend when a woman tried to snap a selfie with the cuddly-looking half-ton water mammals.

Charlianne Yeyna captured the entire scene on camera and posted it to TikTok, where it’s gone viral with over 1.3 million views.

Let Sleeping Sea Lions Lie

“The sea lions were sleeping and were just massive on the beach, and I was just watching them and this woman got really close to them, like 4 feet away, and was trying to take a photo of it up close, and it just woke up and started chasing everybody,” Yeyna told San Diego’s NBC 7.

“I started recording because it was really funny to watch, for me to see all these tourists getting blown away by these giant sea lions,” she said.

Yeyna hilariously posted the video with a Beach Boys tune, “Apple Bitten Jeans.”

You can see the sea lions clear most of the beach as people of all ages chaotically run off. Then the sea lions return to the water after making their point.

The only people who really seem unphased are the surfers, who likely already had some insight into sea lion behavior.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notes that breeding season for sea lions is from late June to early August with most pups born between May and June.

“California sea lions are very social on land and in the water,” NOAA states. “But during the breeding season the males aggressively defend their territories and females fight other females to protect their pups.”

Don’t Pester The Wildlife

Humans are also listed as one of the top threats to sea lions, whether due to fishing gear or human-caused injuries and mortalities. NOAA explicitly reminds the public to give sea lions their space and not to feed them:

“California sea lions are easy to view in the wild, but this puts them at higher risk of human-related injuries and death. Feeding or trying to feed them is harmful and illegal, because it changes their natural behaviors and makes them less wary of people and vessels. They learn to associate humans with an easy meal and change their natural hunting practices—for example, they take bait catch directly off fishing gear. Sometimes they fall victim to retaliation (such as shooting) by frustrated boaters and fishermen.

“They may also be disturbed or harassed by the presence of humans and watercraft. Harassment happens when any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance might injure them or disrupt their behaviors—and it’s illegal. Remember to share the shore with California sea lions, for their safety and yours.”


San Diego NBC 7 points out that while La Jolla Cove is open to tourists this year, the nearby Point La Jolla is closed. This is after the San Diego City Council closed the point from May 1 to Oct 31 due to lion pupping season. And as we are talking about wild animals, it’s natural that there’s been some overlap between habitats.

Yeyna told NBC 7 that she was glad that she took the video because it can help spread awareness of why it’s important not to disturb the wildlife.

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