A curious sea lion is now recovering in a California marine mammal treatment facility. The pup now named ‘Hoppie’ was seen on March 31st near an orchid in the San Joaquin Valley, about 100 miles away from the ocean.
A curious sea lion is recovering in a California marine mammal treatment facility. The pup now named ‘Hoppie’ was seen on March 31st near an orchard in the San Joaquin Valley.
The 36-pound sea lion was reportedly starving and confused. ‘Hoppie’ was about 100 miles away from the ocean and a mile away from the closest river.
Staffers working in the orchard were the first to see ‘Hoppie’. Concerned, they alerted the property owner’s son, Billy Lyons. He in turn got in touch with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Lyons soon handed the sea lion over to an assistant wildlife refuge manager at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge named Eric Hopson, who played a big role in saving the sea lion’s life.
After he gave the creature to the Marine Mammal Center, staffers there decided to name the sea lion after him. Hopson commented ‘He probably would have starved to death. He was already emaciated and lacking in body weight. Unless he could find his way back to the river and back to salt water, he would have eventually died a slow death.’
‘Hoppie’ is said to be recovering well. He's eating and gaining weight. Staffers from the Marine Mammal Center hope that he’ll eventually be able to return to the ocean.