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Pier 39 Sea Lions
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Pier 39 Sea Lions
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S.F. Bay Area — California
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Attractions
Pier 39
Sea Lions
— Sea Lions Arrival at Pier 39
— Mysterious Disappearance
— Sea Lions back at Pier 39

Sea Lion at Pier 39, San Francisco

Sea Lions at Pier 39
— Popular SF Tourist Attraction
Don't miss a peak at Pier 39's famous Sea Lions as they bark and play in the sun — they've become one of San Francisco's most popular attractions.

Sea Lions' Arrival at Pier 39
Shortly after California's October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, the sea lions mysteriously took up residence on the pier's floating platforms. Within a few months, the sea lion population at Pier 39 grew to about 300 and by October 2009, they reached a record-high of more than 1,701 — truly a sight to behold!

What Happened to the Sea Lions?
And then... just as mysteriously as the sea lions arrived at Pier 39, they all but disappeared by the end of 2009. By mid-November, they numbered 927 and after Thanksgiving, there were a mere 20.

During the first week of 2010, an estimated 2,000 sea lions arrived off the central Oregon Coast (about 500 miles north of the Golden Gate) and about 500 sea lions moved into the private preserve Sea Lion Caves near Florence, Oregon. It is believed that 2009's summer El Niño along the CA coast pushed the food north and the sea lions followed.

Sea Lions sunning themselves on the docks at Pier 39, San Francisco

They're Baaaaaaaaack!
By mid February 2010, the sea lions started returning to Pier 39 (due to the influx of herring in San Francisco Bay). Numbers are nowhere near their record high of 1,700+ ... yet! In May, about 500 sea lions were seen cavorting on the docks. By November, the numbers had dwindled again. Stay tuned for updates...

Pier 39 Attraction Pass

Save on FUN Pier 39 and San Francisco Attractions with the Pier 39 Attraction Pass

Pier 39 - Longshot of Sea Lions, Forbes Island and San Francisco

Pier 39 Sealions


Sea Lions sunning themselves on the docks at Pier 39 in San Francisco. Click here to see more Sea Lion photos.

King Sea Lion at Pier 39, San Francisco

Free Entertainment
Pier 39's sea lions are very LOUD and entertaining (they are known to behave like big dogs) — and over the last two decades have become quite a draw to tourists and locals alike. Fun for kids and big kids too!

Pier 39 Sea Lions with San Francisco Ferry Boat in Background

Sea Lions at Pier 39 Docks

21st Anniversary
January 2011 marks the 21st Anniversary of the Sea Lions' arrival at Pier 39.

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Another Fun SF Bay Area "Animal" Attraction
Note: If you like Sea Lions, you may want to visit the Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo State Reserve. Unlike San Francisco's Pier 39 Sea Lions which grow to between 350-1,000 lbs, Elephant Seals can weigh between 3,000-5,000 lbs each and reach up to 16 feet.

Aggressive Male Elephant Seal during Mating Season at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Click here for More Info and Pictures of Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo

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