This week, our letter theme is Z, for Zoology.
We’ll be featuring pictures we’ve taken of animals in our travels, on four continents.
For Friday, it’s North America .. and the California Sea Lions that have taken over Pier 39 in San Francisco.
It was just after the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 that sea lions suddenly started appearing at Pier 39 – a marina on San Fran’s Embarcadero.
No one knows exactly why they came – or why they stay … but they’ve become a tourist attraction in their own right.
Sea Lions have always been in San Francisco bay – but the theory is that one of the rock outcrops that they used to use to ‘haul out’ on was damaged or otherwise changed by the quake – and Pier 39 provided an easy-to-use alternative.
The actual dock (K-Dock) that used to be at Pier 39 was destroyed by the sea lions, as the submerged it and waterlogged it – so special floating pontoons have been placed there instead.
And the Sea Lions love it .. depending on the season, there might be as few as 150 of the mammals, but at the height of the season there could be 10 times that many.
They are mostly male (fewer than 15% are female, typically) and are noisy, rambunctious, a bit smelly .. a bit like a typical mob of human blokes under similar circumstances, I guess 🙂