How 'Hoppie' the sea lion ended up in a California orchard
The animal managed to swim and hop its way 100 miles away from the Pacific Ocean, earning him the sweet nickname.
Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 11:10 AM
A young sea lion pup much like Hoppie. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
A sea lion pup is recovering at a wildlife rehabilitation center after being found in a California orchard last month 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
The adventurous pup swam up the San Joaquin River and then hopped about a mile away from the water and into an almond orchard at Mape's Ranch in Modesto, Calif.
Billy Lyons, manager of the family-owned ranch, found the marine animal hopping among the trees and contacted the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge.
Refuge staff and ranch hands then corralled the sea lion into a cage where the pup — whom they named "Hoppie" — immediately fell asleep.
Hoppie is now at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, where he's gaining his strength before being returned to the wild.
The pup was underweight and malnourished, but is now doing well.
Hoppie isn't the first sea lion to swim up the San Joaquin River. In 2004, a sea lion named "Chippy" made a similar journey and was found atop a police cruiser.
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