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Capturing wildlife photography is an exhilarating pastime with something new to experience during every outing. You never know what you’ll find when you head out with your camera to a secluded spot far from civilization and safely within the realm of nature. Check out these hot spots around the U.S. for diverse photography opportunities that'll give you a gentle glimpse of a different world.

California for Elephant Seals

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Thanks to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the elephant seal is a prominent sight along the coast in Piedras Blancas, California. This stunning creature was once hunted nearly to extinction. Thanks to conservation efforts, you can now see a colony of about 15,000 elephant seals in the rookery near the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. As the name suggests, this animal looks like a bulbous cross between an elephant and a seal. Males set up residence in the area around late November. Females arrive in December and give birth the next month. Babies stay in the area another three or four months.

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