When getting an axis's extents through "axis", the autoscaling state of the axis is turned off, regardless of the state it was in before calling "ax.axis()"

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
fig = plt.figure()
ax = fig.add_subplot(111)
print ax.get_autoscale_on()
limits = ax.axis()
print ax.get_autoscale_on()

It makes sense that it would be turned off if the axis's limits are manually set, but calling ax.get_xlim() or ax.get_ylim() doesn't change the autoscaling state, so why should getting the extents by calling ax.axis()?

This seems like confusing and/or inconsistent behavior to me. Would this be considered a bug?  If not, is it worth clarifying in the docstring to axis?