Play­ing the fool

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Our Wildworld -

I was read­ing the piece by Chris Howard on the grey seals (In Fo­cus, Fe­bru­ary 2018) which re­minded me of a visit to the Gala­pa­gos some years ago. I went swim­ming from our boat (a tri­maran for 20 peo­ple) in a rub­ber suit and snorkel with four oth­ers. There was a group of sea lions ly­ing on a rock, and when they saw us swim­ming they looked in­ter­ested and jumped into the sea and swam over to us. I found I was in­ter­act­ing with a lovely sea li­on­ess and I played the fool and she copied me. She aped my hand move­ments with her flip­pers, be­fore div­ing down and com­ing up with a black stone in her mouth. I clapped my hands and she dropped it. I sig­nalled for her to go down and fetch it and she did. I’m afraid salt wa­ter ran into my snorkel and it wasn’t sea wa­ter! Rosie Stur­gis, via email

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