Update as of Wednesday, February 10, 2016: The sea lion pup, who has been nicknamed Marina, remains in stable and guarded condition at SeaWorld San Diego. Veterinarians and animal care specialists said they are cautiously optimistic about her recovery. The young pup was found extremely malnourished, dehydrated and suffering from an unknown eye injury. Marina has gained four pounds and now weighs 24 pounds. Her improvement is gradual and her bloodwork results are encouraging, showing some inflammation, no other signs of infection or illness. The goal is to rehabilitate her and return her to the wild.
This is a story update. The original story below was published February 4, 2016.
LA JOLLA (CNS) - That customer sleeping in a booth at the iconic seaside Marine Room restaurant Thursday, February 4 was a sea lion pup, and a rescue team from SeaWorld San Diego found that she was malnourished.
According to park officials, restaurant management wasn't sure how she got into the eatery that's famous for ocean waves slapping against its dining room window.
During an examination at the theme park, it was discovered the estimated 8-month-old marine mammal weighed just 20 pounds -- half of what she should weigh.
Animal care staff started her on fluids.
The pup's left eye also is shut and has drainage.
Conditions in the Pacific Ocean, with dwindling food supplies and unusually high tides, have led to 40 rescues of sea lions by SeaWorld since the first of the year, along with six harbor seals and one Guadalupe fur seal.
Park rescue teams brought in more than a thousand marine mammals last year, officials said.