Sea lions are adorable animals with personalities and charm that capture our hearts. They look and behave much like our beloved dog companions and they are often called sea dogs. They inhabit almost every beach and rocky shore ion the Galapagos Islands and they are a delight for the tourists and the residents to watch. Their comical antics often have us in stitches.
Playful and curious, sea lions have learned to coexists with humans and they will often venture inland to look for scraps of food in shoreline villages. They are regular customers at these fish markets, pleading with their huge eyes and pitiful cries, hoping for a stray piece of fish to fall in front of them. While it is frowned upon to interfere with nature and feed these animals, even the most hardened fisherman cannot completely resist their begging.
This kind man has been cleaning fish as fast as the boats bring it in. He is watched carefully by an adult sea lion and also by a baby, both of which have great hopes for some generosity. They can see the enormous tuna and smell the delicious aroma of a fresh dinner as they are carried past the noses of the hungry sea lions. The sea lions know that they will be chased away from the fish if they try to grab one. They also know that the fish are far too large to swallow. They must wait patiently for a scrap or a slice to "accidentally" fall. Their fisherman friend has been known to have an occasional slip and a chunk will leave the table.
As predicted, the skin of a red snapper drops to the floor right in front of the hungry baby. He eagerly grabs the fish skin before the herons, pelicans, or other sea lions can move in. The trouble he has is that he is unable to rip the fish skin, and he is unable to swallow it unless part of it reaches the back of his throat. In the most comical fashion, the baby sea lion repeatedly tosses the fish skin in the air until he can work enough of it into his mouth to swallow it. The tourists watching this cheer him on and laugh at his adorable attempts to eat such a big meal.