Sea lion pup rescued from inside California restaurant

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A hungry seal lion walks into a restaurant… It sounds like the set up for a joke, but this animal emergency in Southern California was very much real.

Rescue crews from Sea World San Diego were called to an upscale restaurant in the La Jolla neighborhood after workers found a sea lion pup asleep in a booth inside the restaurant.

Rescuers say the pup was underweight and they believe that it had spent the night inside the restaurant.

Jody Westberg of Sea World said this call was definitely unique, but not surprising considering the recent weather in the area.

"Southern California, specifically San Diego County, has been very high tides and very low tides. They've also been having a lot of stormy weather and these pups are looking for high ground and warm areas to haul out for the night,” said Westberg. “Southern California has also been impacted by an unusual mortality event and an El Nino event that is impacting the food sources for these sea lions so they not only are they looking for high ground but also food."

Rescuers say they cautiously optimistic about the pups recovery and say it will likely stay in captivity until he reaches a healthy weight.