When I was scrolling through my photos from my trip to San Francisco in 2009 recently, I saw my photos of all the seals at Pier 39 and thought, “AWWWW. SO CUTE.” And then my mind switched to, “But why are they all there?”
There is a high probability that everyone on the planet who knows of these adorable mammals already knows the answer to this, but in case you didn’t, here you go:
The sea lions first started arriving at K-Dock in San Francisco in October 1989 after the Loma Prieta earthquake. They arrived in droves and the San Francisco Marina staff was completed baffled with how to handle the situation so they asked the Marine Mammal Center (an organization dedicated to the rescue and rehab of marine animals). Ultimately, after a lot of research, the Marine Mammal Center decided it would be best for the sea lions to remain at K-Dock because they would have lots of food from the Bay and also be protected from predators by a natural barrier.
Some fake sea lions live down at Pier 39, too.
In November of 2009 (a few months before I took my photos), there was a record number of sea lions living at Pier 39: 1,701.
The sea lions quickly became an attraction for not just tourists, but also locals, and who could blame a San Franciscan? They’re so cute! Make sure to say hi to these adorable creatures if you’re in San Francisco.