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The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research, and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals and the study of their health. Since 1975, the Center has rescued and treated more than 16,500 marine mammals and has accumulated a body of knowledge about marine mammal and ocean health. Through public education about marine mammals, the Center hopes to foster ocean stewardship and conservation. For more information, visit http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Anniversary Sea Lions!

May 21, 2010
Today The Marine Mammal Center and Pier 39 celebrated the 20th anniversary of the sea lions' arrival to their now famous perch in San Francisco.

With 400 cupcakes and sea lion party hats, it was indeed a joyous occasion. This special anniversary is not only for the sea lions - it also honors the symbiotic partnership between the Center and Pier 39. The Center helps to maintain a healthy sea lion community at Pier 39 and educate the public about the connections we all share with marine mammals and the oceans. Pier 39, in turn, expands the exposure of the Center's work to both visiting locals and tourists.

California sea lions first began to haul out at this spot in January of 1990, just after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Originally numbering only 10-50, the population quickly grew to over 300.

By 2009, there were 1,701 sea lions gathering at Pier 39. But then in November of last year, their numbers began to dwindle after a shift in food source location.

Slowly, the sea lions have started to migrate back to Pier 39. Now the distinctive barking can be heard at the Pier again. Just one more reason to celebrate today...

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