SLO County’s elephant seals thriving despite storms, photos

January 25, 2023

Photo by Richard Bastian

By KAREN VELIE

Following a series of storms that pounded San Luis Obispo County and wrecked havoc on the coastline, the elephant seal population in the north county is thriving.

Photo by Richard Bastian

Even though multiple pups were washed out to sea, it was still early in the birthing season, before most of the seals had given birth.

Photo by Richard Bastian

In addition, the beach at Piedras Blancas was partially washed away reducing the space available for the pups and their mothers. It is expected some of the seals will move to neighboring beaches.

Photo by Richard Bastian

Even though Highway 1 is closed north of the elephant seal viewing area, a crowd of tourist have flocked to the area.

Photo by Richard Bastian

The Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery is the only one in the world that is accessible, free, and open to the public.


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