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Elephant Seal Rookery Found at Vandenberg, 1st in 30 Years

Baby elephant seals lay next to their mothers on a south base beach, Jan. 26, 2017, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ian Dudley)
Baby elephant seals lay next to their mothers on a south base beach, Jan. 26, 2017, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ian Dudley)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — An elephant seal rookery has been found at Vandenberg Air Force Base for the first time in 30 years.

The Air Force says 18 elephant seal pups have been lounging with their mothers on a remote small beach surrounded by cliffs on the south end of the Central Coast base.

The pups turned up a couple weeks ago in the small cove, which has a beach that is submerged at high tide.

Vandenberg normally only is visited by juvenile male elephant seals that stop in during fall and winter months.

Elephant seals grow to enormous size — up to 2½ tons for the males.

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