It seems like the sea lions used one of the piers as a place to haul out for the last 20 years, but have suddenly disappeared now. They were a tourist attraction since they started appearing there in 1989, with numbers growing over the years to as many as 1,585 visiting animals. Another spot nearby, Seal Rocks, became less used meanwhile. They are migratory, so they could change their location, but it’s still as strange as their initial appearance at Pier 39. Weather was normal during November when the sea lions left, so the causes for this behavior are unknown.
Thousands of San Francisco’s sea lions have relocated to Oregon, 500 miles north. Heceta Head lighthouse area has reported an influx of sea lions in December, and scientists believe that this may be due to the ocean’s rising temperatures.
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