How a San Diego baby sea lion was found curled up in a restaurant booth

Table for one, please.

When employees of the La Jolla restaurant Marine Room showed up at work yesterday morning, they discovered someone sleeping in the restaurant. Well, it wasn’t actually someone, but something: a sick sea lion pup, just snoozing away in a booth that overlooks the ocean.

After finding the pup around 8am, the employees immediately called in a SeaWorld rescue team. By the time the team arrived, she was awake and moving around. The pup is about eight months old and weighs just 20 pounds. That’s only half of the normal weight for a sea lion her age, which classifies her as a “micro pup.” They also discovered that her left eye was swollen shut. Poor baby!

Fortunately, the rescue team sprang into action and started administering fluids. SeaWorld says things are looking good for her, and it’s very likely that she’ll recover and return to the wild. Yay!

Look how sweet this little pup is. She’s all, No photos, please. But she’s also like, Yeah, I woke up like this, what are you gonna do about it? Matt Caponi, the restaurant’s manager, thinks she snuck in through a back door left open by an employee.

Sadly, this isn’t the first sea lion that’s been stranded on shore. High tides and warm waters of El Nino have cut back on their food supply, and 40 sea lions have already been rescued this year. There were 990 rescued last year. We’re glad that things are looking up for this pup and that she was able to get the help she needed.

“Maybe [she] thought we were open for high-tide breakfast, but we weren’t,” joked Caponi. “We told [her] to come back for the weekend.”