The California State Fish and Wildlife Department says it can’t say exactly how the seals are different from the other seals, but the agency says they have “the largest and most distinctive body and tail markings of any seals in the state.”
It says the markings were created by combining “the body contours of the Southern Elephant Seal with the tail patterns of the Golden Seal.”
According to the California Department of Fish and Game, the Southern Eagle is the largest of the state’s seals, and the Golden Eagle is a medium-sized black bear.
California has seen some of the most ferocious attacks on its seals in recent years.
In 2015, a bear mauled a seal in Southern California, and in 2016, a seal was killed in southern San Diego County after a boat caught the bear in its jaws.
The California Department for Fish and Pesticides says it has collected more than 1,500 complaints of bear attacks in California and in the Pacific Northwest.