March 5, 2009

Sea lion wanders to Mexican restaurant

A California sea lion pup may have been hungry when he wandered into the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant about a mile inland.

The pup, which was released into the wild last week after being rescued, ended up at SeaWorld San Diego for a second stay. Rescuers said they hope he will eventually be released again, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Last month, he got stranded in Solana Beach and was treated for dehydration and a cough at SeaWorld.

Experts said they believe that the pup swam up the San Dieguito River and then traveled overland to get to Chevy's Fresh Mex restaurant in Del Mar, Calif.

That little rascal, said Barbara Henkel of Carlsbad, Calif., who saw the pup crossing a busy four-lane road Tuesday night as she sat in her car with a friend. He's a little devil getting out twice.

Henkel, who called police, told the newspaper that seeing the sea lion was a surreal moment.

We don't know exactly why he made his way to Del Mar, Dave Koontz, a SeaWorld spokesman said to the Union-Tribune. Chances are he could have been hungry or hunting. We don't want to speculate.