Where's Uncle Steve?

Where's Uncle Steve?
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  • There once was a young elephant seal named Sid. Sid was a shy, young naive seal who kept to himself and never wandered outside his parents territory.
  • Oh, How we just love our little Sid!
  • One day, Sid got separated from his parents. Sid remembered that his parents once told him to ask for Uncle Steve if he ever got lost on the shore. Uncle Steve knew the shores better than any other elephant seal in California. Sid thought he saw Steve many times, but it was never him!
  • Who dat?
  • Uncle Steve?! Has anyone seen Uncle Steve?
  • Say what now?
  • Sid wandered aimlessly on the beach for hours. He searched and searched but every time he saw uncle Steve and tried to call out to him, Steve did not reply.
  • Im never going to find my family again.
  • Luckily for Sid, his parents had planned for a day when Sid got lost. Sid's mother had memorized the sound of Sid's voice, all of Sid's visual features, and even the way he smelled. Sid's mother recognized Sid's voice while he was wailing for Uncle Steve. After hours of being lost, Sid was reunited with his family. Sid was one lucky seal! 95% of elephant seals that get separated from their mothers never find them again.
  • Oh Sid! We were so worried!!
  • Mom? Dad?
  • Sid was happy to be together with his family but he was not completely content. He had many lingering questions about the days events. Sid´s  father feared he may have such questions one day.
  • Dad? How come Uncle Steve looks like all the other elephant seals on this beach? Every time I thought I found Uncle Steve, it wasn´t him.
  • Well son, there´s no short explanation. These days, our entire population of seals looks very similar. A long, long time ago, elephant seals were all different shapes and sizes. It all leads back to the 1700´s, a dark time in elephant seal history. Humans, those two legged monsters, are completely to blame.
  • 
  • They wanted us for our blubber. The insulation under your skin. The hunted and hunted until there were under 20 seals left on the entire northern shore. Our ancestors were one of the survivors!
  • Oh my! But what does this have to do with Uncle Steve?
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