This page has graphic photos of a sea lion hunting Gentoo penguins. It is nature at its rawest.
This dude is famous, and he has been seen in documentaries before like the BBC’s Frozen Planet series. Learn about his behavior from Georgina as she talks about him at the beach where he does his hunting.
It is quite a drive over some very bouncy terrain to get from Georgina’s house to North End beach where the sea lion is hunting. He hunts in the afternoon, and if the weather cooperates, and the waves are the right height, he just might be there.
The best way to get there is to take Route 66
It’s an authentic sign from Montana, bullet holes and all
With Georgina’s experience at driving this rugged terrain, and the durability of our Land Rover, we arrived safely with only slightly bruised kidneys
The North End beach of New Island is beautiful, and the sight of some long-term research projects
Here we are setting up camera equipment while the Gentoo penguins are supervising. I am using a Canon 1 Dx Mark II with a Canon 400mm DO II lens attached to a 1.4X teleconverter.
Our sea lion friend lurks in the waves just offshore. He knows the Gentoo penguins are returning from their feeding, and need to get back onshore to feed their chicks. It’s all about timing for him.
When he sees his opportunity he moves in. At this point the penguins know he is after them, and there is a race to get to the beach. As soon as they get near the beach they pop out of the water and attempt to scurry inland and out of his grasp. In his first attempt at hunting the penguins got away.
After this failed attempt he went back into the water to continue his search in the other direction. He bided his time until he exploded out of the water when he saw two penguins coming from the beach and attempting to go into the water. This time he did not miss. He brought the penguin into deeper water, and ate it surrounded by Giant Petrels.
In his next attempt he went after a lone Magellanic penguin. He trapped it on the beach, pinned it, grabbed it by the flipper, and took it out to the water to eat it.