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Sea lion pup found in California restaurant recovering, handlers say

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A sea lion pup who wandered into a seafood restaurant and made herselfat home is doing better, animal handlers say. (WLS)

A little seal lion surprised everyone at a California restaurant when she came in and took a seat at a table, and animal handlers say a week later she's doing much better.

The experts who took her in says she had a whole host of health problems, including malnourishment, but now expect her to make a full recovery and be returned to the wild.

How the pup got into the restaurant in the first place has remained something of a mystery ever since the pup went viral. Executive Chef Bernard Guillas has an idea.

"She came up just the ramp right over here, jumped on this platform, went through the hole, and she's small... and she just went boom-boom-boom-boom," Chef Guillas says.

Then down the ramp, through a back office, and right into the marine room's dining area.

"I have to tell you, she's very smart because she picked out the best table in the house. She jumped right over here, sit down, and she just went, "Where's breakfast?" he says.

The pup, experts say, probably hadn't eaten in a while. It was malnourished, dehydrated and has an injured eye. SeaWorld stepped in to help.

"She's already gained four pounds and is more hydrated and well-nourished after receiving fluids and oral nutrition," says Dr. Molly Martoni, SeaWorld Veterinarian.

They veterinarians have her on medication for her injured eye and a week later the inflammation is down, and blood work looks good.

"So we are cautiously optimistic that she will be able to make a full recovery and return to her ocean home," says Dr. Martoni.

But before they do that, they need to make sure she has her appetite back and is willing to fight for fish in the wild. As for Chef Guillas, he still can't get over it.

"I have to tell you, this is our 75th anniversary, open for 75 years, and guess what... never. Now, the front door? Yes. The back door? Yes. But they've never come in," he says.

And that little pup that was found in his Marine Room was affectionately named Marina.

"How appropriate is that? Sexy! It's a great story for Valentine's around the corner. It's so neat. It's very cute. It's very special," says Chef Guillmas.

SeaWorld says dwindling food supplies and unusually high tides in the pacific have led to 40 sea lion rescues this year.

Related Topics:
petsbaby animalswild animalsu.s. & worldviral
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