(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) — A sea lion walks into a bar.
This isn’t the set-up to a joke, it happened in real life in Newport Beach, California, last week when a pup waddled in to “grab a beverage,” according to manager Sonia Warner.
But the Beach Ball Bar on Balboa Peninsula refused service to the little guy on May 12.
“We’re very careful not to serve alcohol to minors and he clearly wasn’t above the drinking age,” Warner joked.
The bartender and two customers tried to use bar stools to keep the sea lion outside the bar, but Warner said he wandered in and out for almost two hours. “He had a gash on his back and a little eye problem but he was happy doing his own thing,” Warner told ABC News.
The Newport Beach Animal Control workers took the pup to the vet and he was cleared to be released about 35 miles south, in San Clemente.
That didn’t stop him from making it back to Newport Beach the next day.
This time, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center took him in and appropriately named him Beach Ball, Warner said, noting that the center is treating him for an eye infection and “fattening him up.”
Warner went to visit Beach Ball last week and said the center has about 125 sea lion pups they’re taking care of.
“They told me Beach Ball isn’t alone in being a starving pup,” said Warner. “Apparently the water is so warm it’s making the food deeper. The moms are abandoning their pups.”
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center plans to release Beach Ball back to the wild when he’s healthier.
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