Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit – Police in the municipality of Bahía de Banderas were assigned to a different type of duty last Sunday, July 5th, when a curious crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of an elephant seal, which are rarely seen in Mexico.
Police were sent to the beach to keep people back who were arriving to watch as the large mammal sunbathed in the community of San Pancho.
Environmental personnel from Grupo de Investigación de Mamíferos Marinos A.C. (GRIMMA) on the scene recommended that people simply leave the seal alone.
The GRIMMA researchers reported that this was the first time that this species of elephant seal had been registered along that beach. They said that “the seal was observed in good condition,” adding that, “it is normal behavior for these animals to rest on the beach.”
Staff from the Bahía de Banderas PROFEPA and Civil Protection departments monitored the seal according to the protocol, warning people not to approach or stress the animal. A large number of people gathered along the beach even though beach areas remain closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Environmental personnel determined that the mammal was a female northern elephant seal, but were unsure what brought her to the beach. The stranding of the marine mammal attracted the attention of the Nayarit Governor, Antonio Echevarría García, who took the opportunity to share an image and promote the state for tourism.
“I share this beautiful postcard taken by Dafne García from San Pancho. Let’s take care of our flora and fauna to continue demonstrating to the world that #NayaritEnamora,” the governor wrote on his social media networks.