Sea lions will get a break from selfie-taking visitors after a California city closes down an iconic beach, experts hope.
The San Diego City Council voted 8-0 on Monday, Sept. 18, to close Point La Jolla beach, Travel + Leisure reported. Nearby Boomer Beach also will be closed.
“People will often try and get selfies and mostly, we’ll find that people will put their children close to the animals,” Carol Toye of the Seal Society of San Diego told the council, according to USA Today. “These are up to 800-pound animals.”
Sea lions use the beach as a rookery to raise their young, making it a popular spot for visitors seeking a close-up look, the Los Angeles Times reported.
City officials instituted a six-month closure from May to October in 2022, the publication said. The new rule makes the closure year-round.
Swimmers will have access to the ocean, USA Today reported.
But not everyone favored the closure.
“It feels like the city is casting aside the community and the park with no respect and no regard,” said Bob Evans, president of La Jolla Parks & Beaches, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sea lions can grow to up to 11 feet long and weigh up to 2,200 pounds, the San Diego Zoo said.