IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Wayward Sea Lion Pup Found in California Orchard

Ranch hands quickly contacted wildlife officials after discovering the animal on March 31.
Image:
A sea lion pup named Hoppie was found at Mape's Ranch near Modesto, Calif., in March 2014. Workers at the central California ranch could hardly believe their eyes when they spotted a sea lion pup hopping through an almond orchard, a mile from the San Joaquin River. Hoppie is now recovering at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., and is undergoing treatment for sores and getting some much-needed nourishment in hopes of returning him to the wild.Eric Hopson / San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge via AP

A sea lion pup named Hoppie is recovering after swimming up the San Joaquin River and winding up in an orchard at Mape's Ranch in Modesto, Calif. -- roughly 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Ranch hands quickly contacted wildlife officials after discovering the animal on March 31, the Merced Sun-Star newspaper reported Tuesday.

A Marine Mammal Center volunteer eventually enticed the wayward sea lion into a cage, where it fell asleep. Hoppie is now recovering at the center, the newspaper reported.

Officials don't know why the sea lion left the river or how the animal hopped such a long distance on land.

Hoppie, center, recovers with other malnourished sea lion pups at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., April 11.Michael Hanrahan / The Marine Mammal Center via AP