Breathtaking footage has emerged showing hundreds of sea lions – who have occupied vast stretches of a dock – jumping into the river in Rainier, Oregon.
Bill Cowley, 48, who captured the video said he was astounded at the sight of so many sea lions on one dock and could feel the dock lifting up after they jumped.
As Bill strolled further onto the dock, the sea lions started jumping into the river.
“The sea lion walk went crazy. There were just too many of them on the dock. As I walked forward, they just kept jumping over and I kept filming,” said Cowley, who is an avid photographer.
Rainier, Oregon is the scene of a silent battle between residents and an ever-growing population of sea lions. Drone footage shows they number in the hundreds and have literally taken over the docks.
“Locals say they were always in or around the Columbia River long before we were, but population is doubling every year,” said Cowley.
Numerous non-lethal and often innovative attempts to control the population of sea lions have failed. The footage also shows how they have destroyed the fencing intended to keep them away.
“There was a fence on the dock but the sea lions seem to be able to break it all the time.”
Nearby and easily accessible food sources ensure the population continues to swell.
“The sea lion’s population in the Columbia River is constantly searching for food and we made this problem as somewhere within this area is their food source,” said Bill, who is also a part-time animal conservation activist.
Bill believes that the need of the hour is to find a way for humans to co-exist sea with the sea lions. “Animals should not require our permission to live on earth”