Opinion: La Jollans should celebrate the seals

Jim Hudnall

Pro-rookery Advocate who grew up in La Jolla and whose great grandfather was attorney and close confidente of Ellen Browning Scripps

The La Jolla harbor seal rookery is a unique natural treasure which has been much abused by a few middle-aged male humans in recent years. Using excuses such as “a beach for the children,” “a shared beach,” and more recently an “open beach,” these people have repeatedly run the rookery seals off the beach using a myriad of tactics, from snorkeling directly in front of beached seals to flying a big bird-shaped kite directly overhead.

With collusion involving certain media individuals, the pro-rookery advocates have been cast as wild-eyed radicals. It’s time now for all La Jollans to recognize that the seawall was built on a rock-complex called “Seal Rock,” and that harbor seals long ago chose this site as a rookery home. (The bold-faced lie that the seals of this rookery are all SeaWorld rehabs should be firmly refuted.)

Wake up La Jollans and celebrate the existence of the only mainland harbor seal rookery in Southern California for its contribution to nearshore ecological richness and for the educational and entertainment value it offers to all of us.

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Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=41092

Posted by Phil Dailey on May 12, 2011. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

24 Comments for “Opinion: La Jollans should celebrate the seals”

  1. fishinwithagun

    Hey Hudnuts, you've been bleating this same old line for the past dozen years… we know where you stand. But it's a shared use beach, it cannot exist as anything else according to the Children's Pool trust.

    The seals are still there despite it being a shared use beach. 45 pups born this season. There is no issue. What are you even arguing? That the beach should be closed? It can't and shouldn't be done.

    Aren't there also sea lions for people to see at La Jolla cove? Aren't there harbor seals on the seal rock preserve just north of the Children's Pool? At what point do we just evacuate all of La Jolla to make it a "natural treasure for animals?"

    You are free to enjoy seals, but you are NOT free to close the Children's Pool beach, sorry charlie.

    • Savethebeach

      You are so off-the-charts rude !!! State your case, but spare us the snarkiness and personal attacks, e.g., your entire first sentence.

      • fishinwithagun

        James Hudnall is nuts in my opinion. Hudnall+nuts = Hudnuts. It's not rude, its just an abbreviation.

        "savethebeach", if you want to see "off the charts rude" then look no further than your fellow seal activists on youtube. search "The La Jolla Children's Pool: A video summary of the anti-access belligerents" and you will find 10 straight minuets of the rudest behavior on record!

    • npk32

      "Aren't there also sea lions for people to see at La Jolla cove? Aren't there harbor seals on the seal rock preserve just north of the Children's Pool?"

      Yeah those animals are there but don't give up hope. I'm sure if you guys work hard enough you can come up with justification for attempting to get rid of them also. After all, we wouldn't want La Jolla resembling anything close to a "natural treasure for animals."

  2. michael

    As the public grows more and more weary of the misery and unrest caused by the seal extremists the public is now being presented with desperate Hail Mary passes such as this article to garner any little bit of sympathy left. Let's leave behind the emotional mumbo jumbo and discuss facts.
    - The grand niece of Ellen Browning Scripps, Ellen Revelle, stated several times in interviews that Ellen Browning Scripps would be disappointed that the seals had taken over the Children's Pool that she had built specifically for children and families.
    - "Unique natural treasure" can hardly describe a man made cove built for children and families. Diver's have also been using this man made cove for entry and exit since it was built without incident until the seal extremists ,who at this point are comprised largely of militant vegans, started causing trouble.
    - No one is "running seals off the beach" and the rare occasion that a kite was flown did not result in flushing or harming the seals. When people snorkel in the cove the seals tend to come to the swimmers which really irritates the activists because it blows there harassment argument out of the water.
    - The old "Seal Rock" was never a rookery. The new Seal Rock that consisted of 10 to 20 seals at any time perhaps was a small rookery before Sea world started dumping rehabilitated seals there.
    - It is a documented fact that Sea World dropped off 126+ seals in the vicinity and half of those directly into the Children's Pool. I don't think Sea World would lie about that fact.
    - While the seal activists started out as well meaning citizens the extremist group is now controlled and supported by militant vegans, militant animal rights activists, and eco-terrorists. All of them capable and ready to use slander, property destruction etc., etc. while inciting hatred and violence towards the innocent citizens of La Jolla.
    Please Mr.Hudnell…La Jollans are tired of the unrest, misinformation and misery that you and your cohorts bring to this once wonderful location.
    Give it a rest….

  3. michael

    Oh…and Mr. Hudnell …there are two other rookeries in Socal. One in Carpenteria and another just south in Point Loma. This does not include the rookeries and thousands of seals just offshore on the nearby islands.
    It's not the end of the world….
    The 50,000 or so seals along the California coast are doing just fine.

    • npk32

      Where are the other scuba diving and spear fishing spots in SoCal?

      • michael

        Scuba divers and spear fishermen in California enjoy the same areas that 250,000+ sea lions and seals do…The entire coast of California, the Pacific ocean and its offshore islands.
        If you're talking about La Jolla, the Children's Pool is the best entry and exit point to get to the kelp beds.
        The seals are not endangered and do not need to be coddled by animal rights extremists and militant vegans that want to eradicate humans and return the earth to the animals, especially when they are screwing the environment in their misguided efforts.

        • npk32

          "Scuba divers and spear fishermen in California enjoy the same areas that 250,000+ sea lions and seals do…The entire coast of California, the Pacific ocean and its offshore islands."

          Ok, so how many scuba diving and spear fishing spots are there in SoCal? More than two?

          "If you're talking about La Jolla, the Children's Pool is the best entry and exit point to get to the kelp beds."

          What's second best?

          "The seals are not endangered and do not need to be coddled by animal rights extremists and militant vegans that want to eradicate humans and return the earth to the animals, especially when they are screwing the environment in their misguided efforts."

          Alarmist rhetoric and personal attacks like that don't help either side. Get it together pal, you sound like a maniac.

  4. LJdiver

    Mr. Hudnall
    I am sure you can provide some information for all of us, if indeed we are to take your opinion as a credible. Remember Alinski said "the ends justify the means", I hope you are not a follower of Alinski. Let's see.
    Please provide evidence of:
    1."grandfather was attorney and close confidente of Ellen Browning Scripps"
    2. beach is not for children. Note- look at plaque on stairs.
    3. shared beach. Please read SB 428, as introduced, Kehoe. Tide and submerged lands: San Diego. Looks like SHARED to me!

    Existing law grants to the City of San Diego all of the right,
    title, and interest of the state in and to a specified portion of the
    tide and submerged lands bordering on and situated below the
    ordinary high water mark of the Pacific Ocean, to be held by the City
    of San Diego and its successors in trust for specified uses and
    purposes pursuant to specified conditions, including that those tide
    and submerged lands are required to be devoted exclusively to public
    park, bathing pool for children, parkway, highway, playground, and
    recreational purposes, and for other uses that may be incidental to,
    or convenient for, the full enjoyment of those purposes.
    This bill would include in that list of uses and purposes a marine
    mammal park for the enjoyment and educational benefit of children.

    4. "collusion involving certain media individuals, the pro-rookery advocates have been cast as wild-eyed radicals". Look at APRL's 2009 Form 990-all of the names listed are current PETA or Ex-PETA activists. Look who was called in to the "rally" last week, remember Tim Rusmisel? You look it up yourself. Radical animal-rights plain and simple.
    5. "The bold-faced lie that the seals of this rookery are all SeaWorld rehabs should be firmly refuted". By who? what? All or some?
    As a local diver and resident for over 40 years, James I am waiting for your response.

  5. Dave

    "With collusion involving certain media individuals, the pro-rookery advocates have been cast as wild-eyed radicals."

    Really? I mean, REALLY?

    Which "media individuals" would that be? Hmmmm? It must just be "the biased media" claiming that Andrea Hahn has threatened people with a false police report,(which is very (wildly even) illegal BTW. Oh wait, she proudly posted a video of herself doing just that on youtube.

    See, here's the thing Jimmy boy, the media is NOT casting your "pro rookery" buddies as wild eyed radicals. Your buddies radical actions show them to be wild eyed radicals.

    And while we're at it, knock off this "pro rookery" nonsense. It's just silly. Everyone down there on the beach is advocating SHARED USE. That means they love the seals too and want them to stay as well.

    The people you label "pro rookery" are better described by what they truly represent. If you wanted an honest description "anti access, anti human", or even more appropriatly, "anti child".

  6. Dorota

    I hope that after watching the video of the awful treatment of the seals at Casa Beach on national news today, hundreds of people from all over the country will start flooding SD mayor's and Sherri Lightner's office with the simple question: "Why the La Jolla seals are not protected?" https://www.facebook.com/JaneVelezMitchellHLN/pos...

    • Seal team 6

      Should we buy you a white cane and a seeing eye dog? The seals are fully protected by federal law and is NOT an endangered species and contrary to your own beliefs the Children's Pool Harbor seal colony is NOT the only colony in San Diego were seals have there young. There is a federally recognized colony below the Point Loma water treatment plan that is also acknowledged by Sea World and has been releasing rehab seals there now just like they did at Children's Pool, and has stated that this colony has been multiplying with baby seals too. And don't forget, the beach right next door, South Casa beach, even your friends of the seals stated that on there web site.
      The fact of the matter is you don't want the seals to be saved at Children's Pool, you need this controversy to save the seals to rake in the money, and with "hundreds of people from all over the country will start flooding " In with donations, thats the bottom line, you should change your slogan to , " Save our Money", not
      "Save our Seals".

    • fishinwithagun

      Dorota, they are protected already by the federal government, you just want more donations for your animal activist causes. You are so transparent you should be ashamed.

  7. fishinwithagun

    guest2, Show me how the seals need to be further protected. Give me evidence of harm. And I don't mean seals flushing into the water, that is not harm, it is a natural instinct. IT IS A NATURAL INSTINCT. Examples of unnatural, and thus harmful acts against the seals would be- throwing boulders at them- lassoing them- shooting them- tasering them (had to throw that one in there for brian pease's sake)- these actions nature has not prepared harbor seals to deal with. but flushing, yes, the seals are quite ok when they flush. they'll be back! Remember who was at this beach first…. humans. Yes, the seals came to us.

    Natural reactions of seals to terrestrial mammals is in their blood. They've coped with it for thousands of years. They are doing fine with shared use. 45 pups born this season.

    You close the beach at the Children's Pool, and you are making an absurd precedent for beaches, parks, and property elsewhere. Should we close Torrey Pines park because hikers are scaring coyotes off the trails? Should the government force you to evacuate your house merely because a protected bird builds its nest above your front door? Shall we close off the entire Waikiki beach and shutter the hotels if god willing, the Hawaiian monk seal stages a comeback?

    Employ some logic to your brains. It's ok to be concerned for Harbor Seals, but only when their population numbers are being threatened. This is not the case with harbor seals today, which enjoy an extremely robust population. When you start naming them and weep for the death of "little puddling pop", you have problems in the brain. Did you know that 1/4 adults suffer from a mental illness? Perhaps you need to see a psychologist.

  8. Seal Droppings

    It makes you sad to think about it. But it might be the safest thing to do with Andrea’s extremists causing so many problems. Turn Children’s Pool back into a “natural” environment. Then, maybe, Andrea and her band of seal-extremists will go away. Maybe it could be used by all sea-life and all human-life.

    Until then, don’t visit Children’s Pool in La Jolla without a digital or video camera in your hand for self-defense. In a civilized society there is a need for calm discussion rather than Andrea’s gang and their “bull-horn” forms of intimidation.

    Long live Our Children and the seals’ children at Children’s Pool in La Jolla.

    Sincerely Yours,

    Afraid for my life because of Seal Watch and the APRL

  9. Seal Droppings

    Is no citizen safe, in La Jolla, to express an opinion at Children’s Pool without fear of bodily harm by the seal-only group?

    In my opinion, the seal-only group makes it unsafe to visit Children’s Pool in La Jolla. To expose anyone to the vulgarity and sheer antagonistic-bile being spewed forth by the seal-thugs is not a responsible thing to do. Not to yourself or to any child.

    Do you remember, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear that wall down!”? The Wall, at Children’s Pool, may have to be torn down as well. I don’t want the wall to be torn down but it may be too dangerous to remain.

  10. Guest

    It may take another decade, but it will become known as one of the only mainland snacking zones to migrating great white sharks. Once known they will likely follow the La Jolla Canyon in from deep water towards the Children's pool. Areas around and in between like Scripps Park will likely be the most dangerous places to be in the water.

    I wonder how it will effect tourists and tourist dollars when it becomes known as a dangerous place to be in the water.
    At that point it won't be as easy as scaring off the seals either, even once gone the sharks would have to slowly adjust to no longer associating the area with a place to get a snack on their migrations.

    Fortunately humans look like big animals, long and lengthy, with arms carrying tools, fins making them look even bigger. So only the larger great whites that eat elephant seals and sea lions will go for a human to deliver the death bite, the ambush attack that severs a limb, before swimming off to let the prey bled out and returning to eat it once weakened from blood loss. The same way they eat dangerous elephant seals and sea lions. They avoid injury from dangerous prey like elephant seals that way, it is a meal to them like hundreds of others, not a risky battle they want to engage in.
    They typically only go for the full on attack and eat at the same time style for the smaller less dangerous seals, larger animals as humans in gear or on large boards appear to be get an ambush sneak attack delivering a crippling bite, where they would return to eat the prey later.
    Unlike a sea lion or elephant seal though the human or their body is typically helped out of the water by other people before they are consumed later when the shark returns.
    Of course this allows some misleading 'experts' to tell you it was just an accidental test bite, where they swam off after learning it was a human and not a seal.
    No Mr. 'expert', that is how they kill elephant seals and large sea lions too. I guess they are just mistaking elephant seals and sea lions too?

    Be careful what the so called 'experts' that want the public to have a certain perspective claim in order to get the sympathy they want.

    • James

      I'm no expert on sharks but what I have learned is that they are highly specialized for living in the water and hunting down prey. I am not nearly so specialized for those activities but I think I can tell the difference between a cat and a cow! There have always been seals and there have always been sharks stop trying to scare people into your side of the argument!

      That being said I would like the Ranger program to come back to teach people how to live in harmony with nature.

  11. Disgusted inLaJolla

    Get the activists out of the beach area. The activists are obnoxious, uncivilized and think they do not need to abide by the laws that everybody else abides by. Get rid of the activists and throw out the lawsuits because they have no basis. The police do not protect people from the activists anti-social behavior. The city has no spine to enforce the laws that are in place. I feel completely abandoned by the police as a user of children's pool. I swim and snorkel there and have to put up with the activists rude behavior. If any person acted like the activists do in any other setting beside the children's pool controversy they would be taken away by the police for disruption of the peace and being threatening and menacing displaying psychotic behavior in public.

  12. npk32

    Nope, I'm pretty sure it sounds maniacal to everyone regardless of the amount of research they've done.

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