San Francisco's iconic sea lions have returned to the city's Fisherman's Wharf after mysteriously disappearing for weeks.
Throughout July, the pier where hundreds of sea lions have gathered for nearly 25 years was empty.
"It is kind of crazy that for a couple months there will be none, and then there will be a thousand," Alissa Fiset, a spokeswoman for Pier 39, told the San Francisco Gate.
[sharequote align="center"]"It is kind of crazy that for a couple months there will be none, and then there will be a thousand."[/sharequote]
According to the Gate, scientists say the 700-pound animals often leave in the summer to mate, but this year's departure was significantly more sizable than most.
Moreover, the theory that the sea lions left to breed left one chief question unanswered: why did the younger animals not old enough to mate also leave the wharf?
Despite this, the breeding theory appears to be the most accepted among scientists.
Scientists aren't quite sure exactly what location the animals would have left for to mate, but it's suspected they went south to the Channel Islands, the Gate reported.
When the sea lions returned, word quickly spread through the city and visitors quickly flocked to Pier 39 to get a look, according to KPIX-TV.
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