Photos: Tourists flock to watch elephant seals mate in California

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(Photo: KGO via CNN Wire) (Photo: KGO via CNN Wire)

(CNN) – It’s elephant seal mating season, which means many tourists are heading to California.

Hundreds of elephant seals can gather on one beach just to find a mate. Unless it’s an alpha male, who can have up to 50 females, according to Sarah Codde, an elephant seal researcher.

“First, they lift their head and do some vocalization,” Codde explained. “And sometimes, that’s all it takes. One (male) will give up and go away.

Elephant seals can weigh up to 5,000 pounds and be as long as 15 feet.

Some tourists, like Ari Mathos, came from as far away as Wisconsin.

“This is awesome. Exceeding expectations,” he said. “I don’t want to leave. I mean, who gets this close to elephant seals?”

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