Workers at a San Diego restaurant got the shock of their lives on Thursday 4 February when they found a hungry and disgruntled sea lion pup sitting at a booth in their restaurant. The pup, who was very underweight, had been sitting at the booth all night. After making the unusual discovery, staff at the Marine Room restaurant called SeaWorld for help.

Jody Westberg, who was part of the SeaWorld rescue team, said: "We received a phone call early this morning from the Marine Room restaurant in La Jolla stating that they had an animal in one of their booths. They also sent us pictures and we were surprised to see a really young sea lion pup that had actually spent the night in this booth at the restaurant."

Westberg explained that while finding the sea lion pup in a restaurant was a surprise for the staff, the discovery itself was not that unusual. "Southern California, specifically San Diego county, has been very high tides and very low tides. They've also been having a lot of storm weather and these pups are looking for high ground and warm areas to haul out for the night," said Westberg.

"Southern California has also been impacted by an unusual mortality event and an El Nino event that is impacting the food sources for these sea lions," added Westberg. After his rescue, the sea lion was treated to a big meal by SeaWorld staff. The rescued sea lion is now at the SeaWorld enclosure in San Diego.