Sea lion found at restaurant continues recovery

Posted at 7:11 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 22:11:39-05

SAN DIEGO - The sea lion pup found in a booth at the iconic Marine Room restaurant in La Jolla last week is in "stable and guarded condition" at SeaWorld San Diego, park officials said Wednesday.

Veterinarians and animal care specialists at the park said they are cautiously optimistic about her recovery. The young pup was extremely malnourished, dehydrated and suffering from an eye injury when found Thursday.

Video of her rescue at the eatery, which is famous for waves slapping at the dining room's main window, went viral on social media.

The pup named "Marina" is being cared for at the park's Animal Rescue Center, along with dozens of other rescued sea lions and seals. She has gained four pounds and now weighs 24 pounds.

Marina's weight was about half of what it should have been when she was discovered, park officials said.

Animal care staff said she is improving gradually. Veterinary tests found some inflammation, but nothing too worrisome and no other signs of infection or illness, according to SeaWorld.

So far this year, SeaWorld San Diego has rescued 60 marine mammals -- 53 sea lions, six harbor seals and one Guadalupe fur seal. Last year, 1,057 marine mammals, including 990 California sea lions, were taken in by the park.