This photograph of a New Zealand Sea Lion, also known as a Hooker's Sea Lion is taken just as it was opening its mouth wide in threat, although it looks more like it was yawning. This sea lion, which is a marine mammal common along these shores, was found along the beach at Waipapa Point in the Catlins district along the Catlins Highway on the Southern Scenic Route, which lives up to its name of being a gorgeous road on the picturesque South Island.
The New Zealand Sea Lion is also known as the Hooker's Sea Lion or as Whakahao in Maori and is a native marine mammal to this area of New Zealand. It has long been a protected species of the country and since 1890 they have been protected by the government of New Zealand so as to preserve their population. When countries have wildlife only found around their region of the world it is important to preserve their population. Sea Lions, a marine mammal, used to be hunted for their meat and so populations declined rapidly all over the world in the 1800s.
Even though the sea lion population is under threat, in January 2009 the government allowed the killing of 113 Hooker's Sea Lions because they were affecting the squid population. This is a rare occurrence however.
New Zealand Sea Lion (also known as Hooker's Sea Lion), Phocarctos hookeri, along the beach at Waipapa Point in the Catlins along the Catlins Highway, Southern Scenic Route, Southland, South Island, East Coast, New Zealand.
I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, aperture of f/6.3, exposure time of 1/320 sec. on ISO 100, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 120mm.
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