The Marine Room located on the coast in La Jolla has been long known for its fine dining and unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean.
Last Thursday morning, restaurant staff arrived to find an unexpected visitor laying in a booth.
The eight-month-old female California Sea Lion was noticeably malnourished and dehydrated. It was suspected that she walked right through a back door that had been left open by an employee earlier that morning. She climbed up onto a booth that overlooked the ocean through a large window and fell asleep. After the discovery, the staff called SeaWorld for help.
At about 20 pounds, SeaWorld Rescue officials referred to the animal as a “micro-pup”, meaning the little sea lion weighed only half as much as she should for her age.
SeaWorld’s rescue staff took the animal back to their San Diego facility where they administered fluids. Upon examination, it also became known that the sea lion’s left eye had swollen shut.
Rescue team members and SeaWorld officials remain “cautiously optimistic” that the sea lion will recover and be returned to the sea.
This discovery comes on the heels of 2015’s mass stranding incident where 990 sea lions were rescued off the west coast. In 2016, there have already been 40 stranded sea lions that required rescue.
The sea lions’ food supply has significantly diminished due to high tides and the warm waters of El Nino.
While it may be amusing to think that this little lady decided to seat herself to a fresh meal, her presence is a sad reminder that sea lions and other marine animals rely on clean waters and plentiful food sources to thrive and maintain their wild populations. Sadly, this has become a great struggle for survival.
We’d like to thank SeaWorld for their continued efforts in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine animals in need.