What animal species has been known to swim naked, perform handstands, throw kisses and roar to the crowds while giving folks rides on their back? Well it couldn't be Joe Francis' infamous "Girls Gone Wild" since that X-rated purveyor of adult-entertainment is going through bankruptcy . . . or could it be? Yup. . . just, replace the "girls" with a 600-pound sea lion, and Joe is still living the good life in sunny Puerta Vallarta after renting a sea lion, just for some "wild" kicks!
I don't know -- there's something questionable about paying a trained sea lion to come play with you -- don't you think? Since Joe is very familiar with paying for the services of the "working girl," one has to wonder why he has shifted his attention to another species entirely?
According to his website titled "MeetJoeFrancis.com," the man has always been an animal lover, even though no one could have predicted his affinity for sea lions. With his girlfriend Abbey Wilson, Joe is seen here with the "rented" 11-year-old sea lion named Litibu, who spent the day with Francis, courtesy of Vallarta Adventures.
Even though sea lions are naturally wild, Litibu is more like a well-trained house pet. Vallarta Adventures delivered the sea lion by boat just off the shore of Joe’s favorite vacation spot. Once the boat pulled close enough, Libitu happily jumped from the deck and swam directly to Casa Aramara’s sandy beaches.
After a short walk up from the ocean towards the house, Litibu joined Joe and Abbey inside their luxurious infinity pool for his play-for-pay time. "I’ve swam with dolphins, shared the ocean with whales, but playing in the pool with a sea lion was a once in a lifetime experience,” Francis says.
Apparently Vallarta Adventures and Francis used each other as an opportunity to gain publicity for both parties.
Titled, "The Vallarta Adventure's Sea Lion Encounter," the paid service is designed to be both educational and fun. Folks of all ages can receive a hands-on workshop, where they're given a poolside intro to the sea lions' unique physiology, feeding habits and behaviors.
Sea lions are considered highly intelligent animals, and in addition to teaching them tricks to perform for people, they have also been trained to assist (ironically) the United States Navy Seals in target and rescue missions. In a previous post, titled, "Polar Bear Needs To Take A Dance Lesson From A Sea Lion? they have even been known to boogie!
it's important to note, that even though they're trained to perform certain tasks, their well-being has to be taken into account, where they are treated humanely and rewarded (just like humans) for a job well done.
Unfortunately, sea lions are known to have been killed in areas where fishing for salmon is prevalent. California sea lions have been observed eating salmon at the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. Charging that the sea lions are posing a significant threat to the salmon, the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho received permission from the Federal Government to kill up to 92 California sea lions annually through June 2016.
On a brighter note,Vallarta Adventures describes sea lions as the "most flirtatious" mammals in the animal kingdom.
"You'll be smitten with these lovable characters as they charm you with their wit, intelligence and skill. Watch your friendship develop through gentle petting, a shake of a flipper or two, and if you're really lucky, a big fishy kiss," notes their website. Guess that's why Mr. Francis just couldn't resist getting up close, and personal!