Starving Sea Lion Pup Goes to Restaurant

Upscale San Diego restaurant called SeaWorld rescuers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2016 6:46 AM CST
Starving Sea Lion Pup Goes to Restaurant
An 8-month-old female sea lion pup is shown where it was found sleeping in a booth of the Marine Room, an upscale restaurant in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego.   (Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld via AP)

It was too early for the gooseberry glazed barramundi or the Faroe Islands heritage salmon, but some good meals are still in store for a starving sea lion pup that found its way into one of San Diego's fanciest seafood restaurants. The eight-month-old female was taken to SeaWorld's Animal Rescue Center on Thursday after staff at the Marine Room in La Jolla discovered it asleep in a booth, reports the BBC. Chef Bernard Guillas joked that the pup has asked to see the menu after it made its way through the back door from the beach.

The pup was dehydrated and malnourished. Experts say the El Nino weather pattern has caused higher ocean temperatures, driving up sea lion mortality as they are forced to seek food further out at sea. "This pup weighed 20 pounds when we rescued it," SeaWorld animal care supervisor Jody Westberg tells CNN. "It should be about 40 to 50 pounds out in the wild right now." SeaWorld—which treated the pup to a big meal after the rescue—says it hopes to return the pup to the wild after it makes a full recovery. (More sea lions stories.)

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