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‘I had no idea they come up this far’: Video shows trio of sea lions near Tower Bridge

A sea lion naps on the dock in Old Sacramento on Thursday evening, Nov. 17, 2011.
A sea lion naps on the dock in Old Sacramento on Thursday evening, Nov. 17, 2011. Sacramento Bee File

Warm weather has had Sacramentans and visitors soaking up sun lately.

Not all of those visitors are human.

A popular video posted to the Sacramento Reddit page shows three sea lions calmly sunbathing on a wharf on the Sacramento Delta, not far from the Tower Bridge, on Thursday afternoon.

The sight surprised some users, who commented that they had never seen sea lions in Old Sacramento before.

“They’re fun to watch while they’re here. ... I guess until the Bay Area rent goes down,” one user commented.

Whether or not you’ve seen them around, sea lions have been popping by the delta occasionally in recent years. (And The Bee photo staff has caught several on camera, though not usually in groups). According to a 2015 story by the Sacramento News and Review, they’ve been swimming upstream from San Francisco Bay since about the start of this century, following prey. Sea lions are carnivores, eating salmon, sardine, mackerel, squid and more.

The sea mammals, which can weigh more than 700 pounds, also caused some trouble for salmon fishermen last year, CBS 13 reported.

Sea lions can be playful and are social creatures, with loud barks, but they are still wild animals. A pair of sea lion attacks last December sent two Bay Area swimmers to the hospital. Sea lions can be dangerous during mating seasons, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns.

Their most famous presence in Northern California is their inhabitance of Pier 39, where dozens can be seen hanging out on nearby barges on a regular basis.

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