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Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Fifty-five miles south of San Francisco and the Golden Gate, a low, rocky, windswept point juts out into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish maritime explorer Sebastian Vizcaino sailed by the point on January 3, 1603, and his diarist named it Punta de Aņo Nuevo, memorializing the New Year. Nowadays, every winter, throngs of people show up at this California State park and preserve to witness one of the most stunningly grotesque and fascinating natural spectacles in the United States.
Aņo Nuevo is home to the largest mainland breeding colony of Northern Elephant Seals in the world, and each winter they gather in massive numbers to breed. These massive animals were hunted to near extinction in the 19th century, but have made a remarkable recovery, and now more than 2000 pups are born at Aņo Nuevo every year. The real excitement begins in early December as male Elephant Seals, who can weigh up to two and half tons(!!!) come ashore and battle for dominance.
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