Fish Market Workers Show Mercy For Injured Sea Lion

This young sea lion lives on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. He has an injured flipper that makes it difficult for him to walk well or swim capably. He spends his days at the fish market, hoping that his pleading eyes will melt the hearts of the fishermen and the ladies who clean the catch. There is a rule here about not interfering with the wildlife, and it is generally adhered to strictly. There are good reasons to let nature manage itself and to stay out of the matter. Survival of the fittest benefits the species as a whole, and providing help to the weak or the injured will adversely affect the balance of the whole ecosystem. But, when a pair of big brown eyes look at you with such need, even the coldest heart would melt. These ladies spend their mornings cleaning the catch that is brought in by the fishermen and they work hard. They are accompanied by pelicans, frigates, iguanas, and sea lions as they cut the fish into portions. What is not edible would be thrown in the landfill, wasted. Instead, they provide this crippled sea lion with a little support. Trying not to call too much attention to the matter, they casually slip him some skins and guts, surreptitiously. The tourists watch with delight because they have also seen the sea lion struggling and they smile approvingly at this show of mercy. Understanding the rules is important, and following them is necessary, but a little "accidental" slip now and then seems harmless enough. Sea lions inhabit almost every rocky shore and sandy beach in the Galapagos Islands. They are the beloved sea dogs, very similar to our canine companions. Their faces and their antics resemble dogs so much that sailors used to call them sea dogs and sea puppies. Sea lions are fascinating and a joy to watch. They capture the hearts of everyone who visits these beautiful islands.