by M. J. Joachim
Queen Bee looked at her young litter of pups and began licking them proudly. None of their barking seemed to matter. They were mama’s babies and keeping them quiet was not an option. As long as they were making noise, no predators would dare to bother them.
Tired from giving birth, Queen Bee dozed amidst the fury of little ones suckling on her teats. She didn’t hear the biologists, stalking her from the cliff; she couldn’t possibly know what they had planned, as she had never seen a human before.
In their quest for information needed to preserve the herd, the biologists slowly and quietly descended the mountain to the cave where Queen Bee had given birth. They watched from afar, peering in with zoomed lenses on their cameras.
Never before had they seen Queen Bee so calm, patient and peaceful. She had been destined to be put down, in an effort to save the other sea lions and animals in the environment from her wrath. One last chance was all she had. If mating and childbirth didn’t work, her life would be over. Sacrifice of the one to save the many.
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Photo credit: Sea Lion Beach, National Marine Mammal Laboratory, U. S. Government - PD
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