One of the best things about Kangaroo Island on South Australia is its abundance of wildlife beyond just kangaroos and other marsupials (the traditional hallmark of Australian fauna). As a sanctuary for many marine-based birds and animals, the island attracts a wide diversity of wildlife both avian and aquatic. Many of these animals are indigenous to the island, and they include the Australian Sea Lion and New Zealand Fur Seals, members of the well-loved Pinniped family of marine-based mammals that exhibit interesting social behaviours.
To catch those blubber-coated creatures up close and personal, we ventured to Seal Bay at Kangaroo Island on the second day of our trip there. Here are some photos of our journey.
Seal Bay is both a conservation park, wildlife reserve and a tourist attraction rolled into one. Here's a usual pose by the sign post.
So what do sea lions have for breakfast? Apparently much more than just fish as you can see here. Some of these objects are used to help to crush its aquatic diet down into smaller pieces as it goes down the alimentary canal.
Some of the dangers that sea lions face in the course of their lives, eating rubbish and plastic bags that man throws into the ocean or being tangled in nets like this.
Fortunately, the weather was nice and the rain has cleared somewhat. Perfect for a walk down the...
...before we know it, Ethan was off like a rocket. "Let me see those sea lions now!"
Yet another gentle reminder not to tangle with the sea lions. In fact, you can't stroll along these sandy beaches unless you have signed up for a guided tour.
Our first sea lion for the day was this cute juvenile male, lying there on the sand amidst bushes of sea vegetation.
Here's a sea lion couple blissfully basking in the southern Sun, enjoying each other's company in peaceful comfort...
But wait! Something is amiss apparently, and everybody is looking at the drama unfold.
Apparently, another male has decided to try to displace the earlier guy from his girl! Well fortunately he did not succeed in his quest and all was well again.
Here's a video of how a moving sea lion looks like. Apologies for the poor resolution as it was hard to focus at a safe distance from the animals.
Tina and Ethan together with our two other tour companions being shown how sea lions use corals to crush their marine meals by our intrepid guide.
Its the 1 foot Australian sea monster! Yeah, right... Well, the little sea lion pup was actually quite cute playing in the surf and learning to swim.
More sea lions lolling about in the sand, or having a conversation amidst the din of the ocean's crashing waves.
Yet another customary pose, showing the contrast between a red jacket and sandy, beige coloured skin. Yep, sea lions do enjoy lazing about in the sun, sand and sea.
On our way to our next destination, we saw a beautiful rainbow arcing across the sky. It was an awesome sight on this island.
So where are the kangaroos? Tune in to find out as the Lim family make their drive home in the evening...