I was recently vacationing in La Jolla with my family, and had the great fortune to watch the seals and their pups at Casa Beach, also known as, “Children’s Pool.” My children, ages 7 and 9, were delighted to watch mother and baby seals interact with each other. We were even able to see the umbilical cord, still hanging from the belly of an hour-old seal. And while my children know that seals are mammals like us, seeing the umbilical cord and watching a pup nurse was eye-opening for them.
In my 40 years of life, I have never had the opportunity to watch newborn seals. I am thrilled that my children were able to observe them, and it was definitely a highlight of our trip. We all agreed that watching the seals was in some ways more special than our trip to SeaWorld, because they were seals doing what seals naturally do, as opposed to seals (or sea lions) doing what humans have trained them to do, by bribing them with fish.
I was surprised to learn that there is controversy surrounding the seals and their “takeover” of the beach. Personally, I don’t find that beach appealing, because it is closed-in, rocky, and the view is obstructed by that long concrete wall. I found La Jolla Shores to have equally calm, gentle water for my children, plus a beautiful, expansive view.
My children were quite upset and confused to hear that the seals might be kept away from this beach, so that children like themselves could use the beach instead. Their reaction: “But that’s their home! We can go to all the other beaches! The seals need this beach for their babies!” I couldn’t agree more.
You may or may not know that the “Children’s Pool” and its resident seals are mentioned in many San Diego travel guidebooks, and we knew we would be visiting the seals long before we arrived in La Jolla. The seals bring travelers and their money to your beautiful town. Casa Beach offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness seals, during pupping season, in the wild. I hope you realize what a treasure you have and that you will continue to protect Casa Beach and the seals.