Pregnant sea lion found wandering California golf course

CARLSBAD, Calif. — No birdie on this golf course! A pregnant sea lion spotted at a resort’s golf course was escorted back to the beach by rescuers.

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An employee at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad snapped a photo and captured videos of the animal, which was spotted on the resort’s golf course, miles from the beach.

Staff at the resort immediately contacted SeaWorld’s rescue team, which arrived and discovered the animal was pregnant, KNSD reported. Resort staff told the station that it’s fairly common for sea lions to go toward land when they’re pregnant, “just closer to the actual shore.”

SeaWorld Animal Rescue told KSWB the animal did not appear to be in danger or distress when its rescue crews arrived.

“She was comfy, cozy on the golf course,” Jeni Smith, a program supervisor for SeaWorld Animal Rescue, told KSWB.

The animal was so comfortable that it didn’t appear to want to leave. When rescuers tried to approach the sea lion, it began to waddle in the wrong direction, KSWB reported. The sea lion was eventually wrangled after Smith enlisted some resort employees equipped with “shields” fashioned of plastic with handles to line up and create a sort of tunnel, making a path for the sea lion to follow to the rescue truck, according to the station.

While the resort is several miles from the shore, rescuers told KNSD that they believed the sea lion took advantage of high tide, traveling up a nearby lagoon to make it over into the resort.

Rescuers took the sea lion to Carlsbad State Beach to release her back to the ocean, where she swam safely away, KSWB reported. While SeaWorld doesn’t name animals it rescues and releases, lifeguards on the beach who assisted named the sea lion “Bogey.”

SeaWorld is one of the world’s largest animal rescue organizations, and has helped more than 40,000 sick, injured and orphaned animals.