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Sea lion and the Mask (3) More files...
As Ralph Pace descended into the cold waters of Monterey Bay off of the California coast he expected to spy sea lions amid the kelp forest. This time, however, the curious and playful animals had discovered a discarded N-95 mask and were captivated by this new toy.

"I knew it was only a matter of time before we saw the COVID single use effects on the ocean. I’m actually surprised it took this long with the amount of masks and gloves you see laying around. But the rains here seemed to have brought some of them below. Swimming today I found a group of sea lions taking turns playing with a mask." - Ralph

Once the animals spotted Ralph diving nearby he proved to be much more interesting than the mask and as the sea lions were distracted the debris floated away on the currents.
California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) playing with discarded N-95 mask in kelp forest, Monterey Bay, California
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00644188 California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) playing with discarded N-95 mask in kelp forest, Monterey Bay, California© Ralph Pace
California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) playing with discarded N-95 mask in kelp forest, Monterey Bay, California
00644189
00644189 California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) playing with discarded N-95 mask in kelp forest, Monterey Bay, California© Ralph Pace
Drifting discarded N-95 mask in kelp forest, Monterey Bay, California
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00644187 Drifting discarded N-95 mask in kelp forest, Monterey Bay, California© Ralph Pace
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