A hungry sea lion has been rescued after finding its way into one of San Diego’s top restaurants.
Staff found the eight-month-old female pup, which was severely underweight and dehydrated, asleep in a booth.
The pup was taken to SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Centre, where it is hoped she will recover.
Experts say sea lion mortality is rising because their food supply has been hit by high ocean temperatures linked to the El Nino weather pattern.
Chef Bernard Guillas said the sea lion had got into The Marine Room restaurant through the back door after making her way up from the beach next to the building.
“She said ‘Can I see the menu?’ I asked if she had a reservation,” said the chef, whose photos of the pup were widely shared on social media.
Staff at SeaWorld treated the pup to a big meal after her rescue.