SAN FRANCISCO— Aquarium of the Bay celebrated 30 years of the California sea lions’ migration to the Pier 39 K-Dock.
The creatures arrived at the dock shortly after the Loma Prieta Earthquake that hit San Francisco in October 1989. At the time, the dock was filled with boats and overnight guest docking. For their safety, owners were relocated elsewhere in the Pier 39 Marina and the sea lions remained in its newfound home.
According to Pier 39’s website, the Marine Mammal Center’s biologists believe the sea lions chose its newfound home because there’s plenty of food nearby in the bay and ocean. Additionally, the docks are more comfortable and provide better protection from storms than a rocky beach.
Over the years, the sea lions have attracted the attention of many tourists visiting San Francisco.
Permilla Foxall traveled to city in 2017 to revisit where she and her husband were married. The title insurance specialist said she was amazed at how long the sea lions have been around. “It is awesome to have a special spot for them where they are safe and we can interact with them,” Foxall said.
For Chelsea Jones, it was neat to see the animals move from the open ocean to another location.
The number of sea lions at K-Dock rise and fall with the seasons.