Nature in All Its Glory

Sea Lions Really Are the Cutest Animals

by Pavia Rosati

Seriously? Who could resist this? All photos by Pavia Rosati

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS – I recently spent a few days in the Galapagos Islands, a destination I've long wanted to visit. The place is incredible, one of those nature-in-all-its-glory wonders. The animals are, of course, the most interesting locals, if only because no one ever taught them to be afraid of humans. (People, we could all learn from their example.)

As much as I'd hate to play favorites and offend those magnificent tortoises, red-neck frigate birds, and lazy iguanas (so human of me to judge...), the best animals by far are the sea lions. The cutest. The friendliest. The most irresistible. Visitors are told to keep a respectful three-foot distance from the animals, and this seems like a very reasonable request. In theory. Because then you find yourself five feet away from a baby sea lion, so new its umbilical cord is still attached to its mamma, staring up at you with its big eyes, flapping its baby flippers together. And I challenge you to resist the urge to rush out onto the rocks and pick that little puppy up for a cuddle. Resistance is futile.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.