Sea Lion Caught Lounging at California Hotel

A sea lion with a taste for luxury, or perhaps just a bit confused, made its way out of the Pacific Ocean, up a beach and across a road before finding itself poolside at a California hotel.

The sea lion, a female pup, was first spotted around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday by the overnight front desk worker at Pantai Inn, an all-suite hotel in La Jolla, Calif., hotel manager Shane Pappas told

"I received an email while I was getting ready for work stating that we had a baby sea lion in our courtyard," Pappas said. "I called and said, 'What are you talking about?'"

Pappas had reason to be surprised because the hotel is located across the street from the beach, meaning the pup had to slither up stairs to reach the road from the beach, then cross the road and then find its way into the courtyard. Video captured by the hotel's surveillance cameras show the pup did, in fact, make that trek.

When Pappas arrived at the hotel, he found the front desk attendant frantically calling officials from SeaWorld in nearby San Diego to come help, and the pup enjoying her poolside perch.

"The sea lion was sleeping on our chair in the courtyard and looking pretty relaxed," he said.

When a SeaWorld official arrived less than an hour later, he and Pappas scooped her into a net and loaded her into a SeaWorld truck.

The whole rescue, according to Pappas, took less than 25 minutes, but it took that long because of the attention the unusual sight garnered.

"We had to stop for photo ops and the SeaWorld official did a Q&A with the kids staying on the property," he said.

Now that the sea lion's 15 minutes of fame have wound down, she will stay under the care of SeaWorld for the next six weeks to ensure she is in good health before being returned to the sea.

"We have a lot of seagulls and an osprey who visits but, outside of that, no, we've never had anything like this," Pappas said. "It was pretty unique."