california sea lions


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  • Location: Pier 39, San Francisco, California, United States
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  • Info: Live sea lion webcam at Pier 39 in San Francisco in California. The famous Pier 39 sea lions first appeared at K-Dock in 1990 and have been delighting visitors ever since.

    To watch more live views of seals, sea lions and walruses (pinnipeds), visit: Live Seal, Sea Lion and Walrus Webcams

More info: A few California sea lions started “hauling out” on PIER 39’s K-Dock shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 when locals started moving their boats away from the pier. By January 1990 due to a plentiful supply of herring, the protected marina environment and available dock space, the number of sea lions quickly grew to over 300. The boisterous and noisy sea lions took over K-Dock and made it home, much to the exasperation of the marina tenants.

Advice was sought from the Marine Mammal Center, an organization devoted to the rescue and rehabilitation of marine mammals. After much debate and research, the experts from The Marine Mammal Center recommended that the sea lions were allowed to stay in their new home.

The number of sea lions fluctuates based on migratory patterns and prey movements but at one point there were over a thousand sea lions chilling on the docks. Today, the sea lions are present at Pier 39 from late summer (late July) to late spring (mid May) and there are typically 150 to over 600 hauled out.

Sea lions migrate to areas across the Pacific Coast, from Vancouver to the southern tip of Baja. Most pups are born on the Channel Islands located off Southern California in June.

The Sea Lion Center, operated and managed by Aquarium of the Bay, is a hub for all things sea lion, including interactive displays, educational videos and many fascinating presentations led by Aquarium of the Bay Naturalists.

Video showing the famous sea lions at San Francisco's Pier 39:

Additional Information:
  • California sea lion - Zalophus california - Smithsonian National Zoo -
  • California Sea Lion - Aquarium of the Pacific -
  • About the California Sea Lion - SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment -