LA JOLLA, California — A long-time animal rights activist who has filmed seals and sea lions harassed in La Jolla says people are not getting the message.
Andrea Hahn has filmed the animals every day since 1994. Footage from Sunday she says showed some of the worst behavior she has witnessed in recent months: a woman with a shovel disrupting pregnant mothers on the beach.
Another video shows a grieving sea lion mother with her stillborn pup. It has generated over 100 million hits according to Hahn. She says the pregnant mothers are delivering more stillborn pups because people are not giving them proper space. She has even witnessed tourists stepping on the pups.
"People are not getting it. Tourists think because they paid money to get here they have the right to grapple with the animals. There are perfectly good laws on the books and people are ignoring them and the government is not enforcing the laws," said Hahn.
A "no-selfie" sign was recently posted at South Casa Beach. It was posted to remind visitors that sea lions and the seals are protected by federal law, monitored by park rangers, and it's illegal to disturb them.
Access to the Children's Pool is closed due to pupping season but is set to reopen in May.
"Right now that area is safe and quiet for them. It should be closed for good," Hahn said.