La Jolla’s Sleepy Sea Lion Pup Is Released Back into the Wild

Posted by Dennis DeSouza on Friday, April 15th, 2016 at 12:38pm.

Sea lion surfacing from water

One of La Jolla's most adorable news stories this year was about a sea lion pup that was found snoozing inside The Marine Room, a fine dining restaurant in La Jolla Shores. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and the pictures that accompanied this particular news story certainly were. They captured the sea lion pup fighting to stay awake so she could gaze out the restaurant's window at the Pacific Ocean for a little while longer. These touching photos are likely one of the reasons why the wandering sea lion was the object of a significant amount of local news coverage and garnered a great deal of attention on social media networks.

Last February, a number of news sources reported that a sea lion pup was found in The Marine Room, a 75-year-old restaurant seated along the water in La Jolla Shores. According to NBC San Diego, The Marine Room’s executive chef, Bernard Guillas, found her snoozing in a booth. He snapped a few photos of the sea lion pup, which was named Marina, and posted them on Facebook. In the days that followed, thousands of people "liked" and "shared" the photos on social media networks.

While images of Marina circulated the internet, SeaWorld San Diego’s rescue team sought to her care and feeding. The sea lion pup was sick, emaciated and had an issue with her eye. NBC San Diego reported that in the weeks since, Marina has recovered, gained 25 pounds and proved that she can find food on her own. She was released back into the wild on April 5 and the local media covered this happy news story as well.

The Marine Room is a fine dining restaurant located in La Jolla Shores. According to a recent news story published by La Jolla Light, the restaurant's owners and staff have overcome a series of weather and nature situations over the years, many of which are related to the property's location along the water’s edge. The restaurant's address may have caused a few obstacles over the years, but it also adds a great deal of charm. Ocean waves often lap at The Marine Room's windows, which is likely one of the reasons Marina was so enamored with the restaurant.

The Marine Room stated that they are not sure how the 8-month-old sea lion snuck inside their dining room, but they believe she was there overnight, sleeping and gazing out the restaurant’s windows at the Pacific Ocean. Marina is not the only sea lion to stray away from La Jolla's shoreline to visit local businesses recently. NBC San Diego reported that another sea lion climbed nearly 150 steps to visit The Cave Store this past January.

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