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VENTURA: Sea Lion vs. RayHighlights Point Mugu State Park Whale Festival
California-Nevada Offices , March 9, 2008
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Field office staff at the event included, from left: Michael Glenn, Irma Barraza, Debbie Eidson, Chris Dellilth and Lois Grunwald. (Photo: USFWS)
Field office staff at the event included, from left: Michael Glenn, Irma Barraza, Debbie Eidson, Chris Dellilth and Lois Grunwald. (Photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Lois Grunwald applies a temporary wildlife tattoo to young fair goer. (Photo: USFWS)
Lois Grunwald applies a temporary wildlife tattoo to young fair goer. (Photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

Mallory Eidson, Ventura FWO
It was one of those rare wildlife spectacles. The kind that captures human attention and provokes an intense connection with the natural world.

It was also safe to say that this was something no one at the Point Mugu State Park Whale Festival could have imagined they would witness.  

Just offshore on a blustery morning March 9, festival goers were riveted to the sight of a sea lion thrashing about with either a bat ray or a sting ray. The show lasted for about 20 minutes and in the end the sea lion devoured the ray as sea gulls hovered near for scraps.

At mid-day, festival staff reported that one whale and three sea lions had been spotted.

The sea lion encounters and whale watch was all part of the 12th Annual Point Mugu State Park Whale Festival at Sycamore Cove along California’s Highway 1 in Southern California.  Members of the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office staffed informational booths and provided the public with educational brochures, posters, coloring books, pencils and rulers. Wildlife temporary tattoos were also provided for the children.

This exciting event celebrates the annual migration of the gray whale and its successful return from the brink of extinction. Whale appreciation and marine awareness were the themes of the day. 

Although there were gusty winds throughout the day, the festivities were not hampered. 

The festival began with a traditional Native American blessing. Throughout the day, there was live entertainment, marine conservation information booths, whale watching stations, activities, music, food and arts and crafts for children.

The state park had a free and fun educational passport activity highlighting learning opportunities for kids attending the event. Children were able to visit each booth and get a “stamp” for their passport when they answered a question correctly. Once their passport was complete prizes were handed out.

Undoubtedly, the Whale Festival was a great success. The Ventura Office had many employee volunteers that were able to connect with children and adults alike. We had the opportunity to talk with the public and inform them about issues and projects the Service is currently involved in and provide a clear understanding of all that we do.


Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov



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