Rare elephant seal spotted napping near California coast

A group of whale watchers spotted the sleeping animal near Dana Point

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That's something you don't see every day.

While whale watchers typically hope to spot whales, one group off the coast of California saw something just as exciting – an elephant seal. A boat from Capt. Dave’s Dana Point Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari came across the animal that's known to be shy and therefore, not often seen by humans.

A group from Capt. Dave’s Dana Point Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari spotted an elephant seal relaxing in the water.

A group from Capt. Dave’s Dana Point Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari spotted an elephant seal relaxing in the water. (Capt. Dave's Whale Watching via Storyful)

This one, however, appeared to be taking a nap, which allowed tourists to get a good look at it.

Footage of the animal was uploaded to YouTube, where the whale watching company wrote, "While in the open-ocean, northern elephant seals spend about 90% of their time under the water, mostly diving for food. So they're rarely glimpsed at the surface, and when they are, the seals are usually boat-shy."

The post continued, "This male elephant seal seemed to be having a nap and didn't mind our presence too much. Male northern elephant seals are the largest marine mammal we see other than whales and can weigh upwards of 4,400 pounds!"

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The encounter happened in August, but the footage surfaced just recently.

This is the latest example of a "rare" animal being spotted in the wild.

Fox News previously reported that a Steller’s sea eagle was spotted perched in a tree branch along the Taunton River. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife posted about the sighting on Facebook, writing that the bird is thought to be from Asia.

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It's believed that this same bird has been spotted in Canada, Alaska and Texas.