It should come as no surprise that sea mammals such as seals and sea lions have figured out that we humans have fish markets along the shore in many countries. It is a tantalizing and tempting thing for the animals to see all that fresh food just sitting there, waiting within a whisker's reach. What is truly amazing about this is how polite and well-behaved the animals are.
Last year a huge sea lion was documented on video wandering into a fish market that he was apparently familiar with to beg a nosh. He approaches quite civilly even though he is large enough and potentially scary enough to just blunder in and take what he wants.
Instead he sits and waits as patiently as a well-trained dog for his treat, though he does edge closer to the fish-monger's elbow. He knows the treat is coming and a moment later a fish comes flying at him and he catches it neatly. A neat trick for someone who usually hunts and feeds underwater. Check out this short video of the big guy's adventure:
Perhaps this is how dogs and cats began to become domesticated and then tamed. They have certainly repaid us tenfold. It makes you wonder if sea lions might follow suit.
This had to be a dream come true for this behemoth. He undoubtedly must have stayed around for a few more mooches before heading back to the ocean.
He is also not the only sea lion to have discovered the expediency of visiting fish markets. A quick check on YouTube shows that it appears to be quite a common phenomenon. Let us just remember to be gentle, kind, and humane in all of our interactions with them.
Images via Bored Panda