This is a likeness of the elephant seals of Baja California, Mexico, as displayed in 1933 in the newly opened Hall of Ocean Life in the American Museum. The seals were at this point already considered threatened, or almost extinct – the author of the article this cane from was on the 1911 Albatross expedition to see if there were any still there. They’d already been hunted to extinction along the rest of Baja California.
H.E. Anthony writes:
Today this species is known only from the small colony on Guadaloupe Island but a closely related species, the southern elephant seal, is more abundant in the Antarctic on South Georgia. It is the southern animal that has appeared in recent years in one of our large circuses.
From Natural History magazine, July-August 1933 (Vol XXXIII, #4), as found on archive.org.