POINT REYES, Calif. (KGO) -- A colony of elephant seals are taking over Drakes Beach, and the reason why may come as a surprise.
This wildlife phenomenon is actually an outcome of the partial government shutdown.
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During the shutdown there were no park rangers and few visitors to the beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore.
Elephant seals saw it as an opportunity to claim the area. They're even getting comfortable in the parking lot.
This colony includes 40 pups, some just days old.
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The road leading to Drakes Beach remains closed.
Scientists are working on a way to allow the public to safely observe the seals.
See more videos, pictures, and stories about wild animals.
VIDEO: Government shutdown allows elephant seals to dominate Drakes Beach in Point Reyes