These mammals are the largest of all sea lions. They can weigh as much as 2,500 pounds. Steller sea lions feast on up to 35 pounds of salmon, cod, and other types of fish in a single meal!
The animals’ huge appetite is one reason they were in danger of dying out. Fishermen often shot the hungry sea lions to prevent the animals from hurting their catch. By the late 1970s, only about 18,000 eastern Steller sea lions remained in the wild.
In 1990, these sea lions were added to the endangered species list. Part of the ESA’s plan involved educating people about the animals. Twenty years later, the population had bounced back to more than 70,000. The eastern Steller sea lion was removed from the list in 2013.