Adapting to Life Alone on the Island: Chapter 13

Elephant seals on San Nicolas Island beach. Courtesy of Steve Schwartz.
Elephant seals on San Nicolas Island beach. Courtesy of Steve Schwartz.

Karana takes her bow and arrows and heads towards the shore where the bull (male) sea elephants watch the cows (females) and young sea elephants play in the waves. Moving noiselessly behind the large animals, she singles out a smaller bull as a target.

Karana fits an arrow to her bow, aims and fires, but misses. The animal she had selected as her target began moving to the shore while she aimed.

Meanwhile, a much larger bull sees Karana’s small bull move into his territory. He attacks the younger male. They fight on the shore and in the water. Eventually, the young male chases the large bull back onto the shore, where Karana is standing.

Karana tries to get out of the way of the large bull, but she trips and falls to her knees. The fight between the elephant seals continues, but the pain in Karana’s leg forces her to return to the safety of her shelter, without the sea elephant tooth she wanted.

Last updated: June 24, 2018