The ever vigilant C.W. Nevius over at the Chron alerted us last week to the disturbing disappearance of the beloved, smelly sea lions over at Pier 39. Had the stubborn little guys (who made their first appearance right after the Loma Prieta quake in '89) fled because of some magical animal sense of a coming earthquake? Or had they simply swum off in search of food?

Well, now that it's an *international story*, someone figured out that it's the latter: they swam all the way to Oregon, en masse, because that's where the fish went during this El Niño season. The BBC has this nice little video which features some footage of the massive clans of sea lions chilling on the chilly coast of Oregon, where apparently the fishing is better. But clearly there are not so many calm, floating docks on which to sunbathe and squawk at each other, so we're guessing they'll be back.