Sea Lions disappear from San Francisco pier
If there is one thing you always remember about  1your visit to San Francisco it is the sea lions down on Pier 39. Now, mysteriously, they are suddenly gone.

The word is they have migrated south to reproduce and, not to worry, they'll be back just like they were after a similar migration nearly five years ago. That was back in December of 2009 when they just up and left overnight. That's disappointing for many tourists who actually come to the pier to see the sea lions.

The mystery is right up there with who killed JFK -- conspiracy theories about the sea lions abound. Could it be that space aliens beamed them up for a trip to the home planet? Or maybe they left because they felt an earthquake or because they fear the local sharks. Just about any theory goes.

The experts say it could be as simple as they went off to find some food, or maybe some local construction projects are causing a disturbance.

The sea lions actually first arrived in 1989 following a big earthquake in the area. They really took over the pier by January 1990. There was some consternation about leaving them on the docks, but eventually it was decided the best course was to leave them there -- and besides, they were bringing in the tourists.

At one point there were more than 1,700 sea lions calling this part of San Francisco home.
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