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Study English: ESL Intermediate Story

Sea Lion Asleep

sea lion

1. This sea lion clearly does not have much hardship to bear. Her environment is not altered very often. The weather in San Diego, where she lives, is fairly stable. Her home at the zoo is small, but seems to suit her and her companions well. They spend their days swimming, napping and eating the fish that people buy and throw to them.

2. Many people are baffled by the ways that sea lions can be tamed. It seems strange that sea animals would get along with people so that they can learn to balance balls on their noses, clap their flippers and swim where they are trained to swim. Yet they do tame and perform very amusing tricks.

3. Sea lions can be trained for more than entertainment. They are used by the U.S. Navy to protect piers and docks from unwanted intruders who would enter by swimming or scuba diving. They do not block intruders, but they locate them and mark their locations.

4. Though sea lions are usually known as animals that get along with humans, there have been attacks on swimmers. It is hard to analyze why each event occurs, but overall reasons are probably territory or just curiosity. Sea lions are very playful, and they may sometimes think of swimmers as fun things to investigate.


Answer the Questions (answers are at the bottom of the page):

1. What is the main idea of this passage?

A. The sea lion in the picture is sleeping.

B. Many people are baffled by sea lions and how they can be tamed.

C. Some facts about sea lions and how they get along with humans.

D. The dangers of sea lions.


2. What is an INFERENCE, not a fact from the story?

A. sea lions are very intelligent animals

B. sea lions have attacked humans

C. some sea lions work with the Navy

D. some sea lions can perform tricks


3. What parts of life at the zoo are listed in the story?

A. people throw fish, people shout, sea lions swim

B. sea lions swim, sea lions nap, people throw fish

C. sea lions nap, sea lions swim, dolphins work for the Navy

D. sea lions eat fish, people buy fish, people keep sea lions as pets

4. What role is not performed by seal lions for the Navy?

A. they locate intruders

B. they mark intruder locations

C. they block intruders

D. they locate and mark intruder locations

5. Match the words to their definitions:

   bear                         a. to change

    alter                         b. to confuse

     baffle                       c. to compare

          block                       d. to put up with

analyze                    e. to stop

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answers: 1. c, 2. a, 3. b, 4. c, 5. bear: d, alter: a, baffle: b, block: e, analyze: c