Baby sea lion joins cage divers to escape shark

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Mexico’s Guadalupe Island is seasonally home to dozens of adult great white sharks, which prey largely on seals and sea lions.

But it seems that at least one baby sea lion has discovered a means by which to get out of harm’s way when a giant predator is in its midst: Swim into a metal cage and hang out with divers until the threat is gone.

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The accompanying footage shows the sea lion practicing this escape method as a large white shark is making a pass alongside some cages.

This is not common behavior. In fact, Shark Diver‘s Martin Graf, whose company has been operating for years at Guadalupe, said this was the first time any of his divers had watched a sea lion swim into one of its cages.

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“He swam into the cages and came up right under the swim step, where I was actually touching him,” Graf said. “When a big female shark swam by, he darted into the cage, and as soon as the shark turned away from him, he swam out.

“The only other time something like that happened is a couple of years ago, when we actually had a baby sea lion keeping me company on the swim step.”

The baby sea lion shown in the footage, Graf said, made it safely to shore soon after the shark had passed.

White sharks are present in the waters around Guadalupe Island, one of the world’s premier cage-diving destinations, from about midsummer to early winter.

The island is located 165 miles west of the Baja California port of Ensenada.

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