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Friday, October 23, 2009

Sea Lions Mysteriously Vacate Hyde Street Pier, Lose Out On National Coverage

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 11:15 AM

click to enlarge And then there were none...
  • And then there were none...

Back in August, a group of more than 100 unruly sea lions swarmed the Hyde Street Pier, claimed it for themselves, and seriously pissed off nearby boat owners, fishermen, swimmers, and especially Port of San Francisco wharfinger Hedley Prince. (Here's our cover story documenting the adorable infestation).  

Part of Prince's job involves maintaining the Hyde Street Pier. So when it's covered in smelly, sharp-toothed, 800-pound wild animals, that's kind of stressful. Prince looked into a variety of ways he could deter and banish sea lions, which included exploding seal bombs and shooting rubber bullets at them. But in the end, the port went with the slightly friendlier option of installing barricades.

Turns out, even those may not be necessary. As of Monday morning, the Hyde Street Pier sea lions are no more. They simply vanished, leaving Prince mystified and The CBS Evening News with a non-starter of a story. (CBS was only the latest in a media dogpile regarding the record number of sea lions hanging out in the Bay).  

Prince says a CBS producer had been calling, e-mailing, and interviewing him for a week, and that a crew had come to film the installation of the barricades on Monday. "We go down there," Prince says, "and not a single freaking sea lion was on the docks."

Prince was relieved that the sea lions had scrammed, but a little disappointed that he won't be making an appearance before 6.5 million viewers. "I feel like a jilted lover," he joked. "[The producer] hasn't called me once since the sea lions went away."

As for why the sea lions left the Hyde Street Pier, nobody knows, but whole lot of sea lions are still hanging out at Pier 39, said harbormaster Sheila Chandor.

Our best guess is that they were getting tired of all the publicity.   

Photo   |   Reywas92

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Ashley Harrell

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