HomeOutdoorsViralWATCH: Sea Lion Chases Down Baby Penguin, Shows Absolutely No Mercy

WATCH: Sea Lion Chases Down Baby Penguin, Shows Absolutely No Mercy

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

Sea lions make a popular meal for one of the ocean’s fiercest predators, the killer whale. However, a new viral video shows that sea lions themselves make for ruthless hunters as well, with one caught chasing a tiny baby penguin along the shoreline of a beach before scooping it up with sharp teeth and powerful jaws.

As the above caption highlights, “a defenseless meal is an easy meal.” Not only is the baby penguin in the video a small fraction of the size of the pursuing sea lion, but it also lacks the life experience this hungry marine animal has.

The caption from the Instagram page Nature Is Metal reads, “Without a parent to act as a deterrent to any would-be predators, young [penguins] do not last very long.”

From the sea lion’s perspective, these kinds of meals are ideal because it requires very little hunting and fills its belly for approximately eight hours, giving the animal time to better prepare for its next hunt. The post’s author continued, “new life is often targeted specifically for this inexperience and inability to mount a suitable defense – even if that means running away.”

Commenters had various reactions to the clip. Some empathized with the tiny penguin while others emphasized that, in nature, it comes down to the survival of the fittest.

“I’m gonna get crap for saying this,” one person began, “but someone could’ve at least yelled or something to try & distract the sea lion long enough for the baby to get away. Poor little thing was frantically running for its life.”

Others, however, argued in favor of the sea lion. A second person wrote, “This sea lion did what he had to do to survive.”

Sea Lion Nearly Flips Small Boat in Attempt to Escape Killer Whale

As stated, sometimes the sea lion is the hunter, and other times, it is the hunted. In a separate case earlier this fall, two boaters off Vancouver Island’s Pedder Bay nearly capsized when a sea lion, desperate not to become lunch for a nearby pod of killer whales, attempted to hop up onto the craft.

Video footage shows the 750-pound animal hop onto the side of the rowboat before gracelessly flopping back into the water. Close-up photos from the pair’s encounter with the creature see what appears to be a female boater leaning forward against the backward momentum of the sea lion’s jump.

Mark Malleson, a whale-watching boat operator, shared his perspective of the incident after the video went viral.

“It panicked,” Malleson said of the sea lion after it spotted the group of killer whales. “It did one jump and kind of landed on the side of the boat and then it did a second [jump].”

Fortunately, the boat righted itself despite the force of the animal’s jump. And, despite the danger to the sea lion posed by the whales, it’s good thing, Malleson continued, “It must have been 700 or 800 pounds…If that animal had landed in the boat, somebody could have gotten seriously hurt, just from the sheer size or from its teeth.”