Perhaps he just wanted to learn some reading, writing, and arithmetic, but a baby sea lion in California had no such luck. He wandered onto a high school campus and ended up detained in the back of a sheriff’s deputy’s cruiser.
No one really knows how the animal ended up at Mar Vista High School. School staff spotted the studious sea lion at the school – five blocks from the beach – last Wednesday and called the Sheriff’s Department, San Diego 6 reported.
Animal Control and Sea World arrived not long after. But in the meantime, deputies did what they’re used to doing when they catch trespassers wandering where they’re not supposed to. Apparently, it doesn’t matter that this trespasser was an adorable animal and not a violent criminal.
“The little guy was ‘detained’ without incident in the back of the patrol car,” the department joked.
This made for a pretty cute photo, which of course quickly caught fire on the Internet.
No word on possible charges for the wandering baby sea lion, but officials continued cracking jokes after the animal was detained, LA List added.
“While Deputy Sheriffs attempted to interview him as to his activities, he clammed-up and requested his lawyer…The Sheriff Always gets his…Seal?”
Cute as this may be, it’s actually a sign of a greater and more tragic problem, the New York Daily News pointed out. The animals are being rescued at alarming rates – so many that Sea World has suspended its sea lion show to care for them. Rescue centers are so full, pups are turned away or euthanized.
“We’ve doubled our rescues and there seems to be no end in sight,” Marine Animal Rescue president Peter Wallerstein said of the trend.
So far this year, 1,600 pups have shown up on California beaches (this pup is apparently the only one who ended up in a high school) desperate for food, LA List added.
The prevailing theory is that the Pacific has become so warm that moms can’t find food for their young and are wandering away from their home in the Channel Islands – sight of the largest breeding population in the country. While their moms are away from the islands, the pups wander off and end up on the beach.
Many don’t survive, which makes this detained baby sea lion one of the lucky ones.
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]