(AP) -- Workers at a Central California ranch could hardly believe their eyes when they spotted a sea lion pup hopping through an almond orchard, about a mile from the San Joaquin River.
After discovering the confused animal last month at Mape's Ranch near Modesto, the ranch hands quickly called their boss, who got ahold of wildlife officials.
A Marine Mammal Center volunteer eventually coaxed the lost sea lion into a wire cage, where it promptly fell asleep.
The Merced Sun-Star reports that the 36-pound sea lion, nicknamed Hoppie, is recovering at the center in Sausalito. Hoppie is undergoing treatment for open sores and getting some much needed nourishment in hopes of returning him to the wild.
Officials aren't sure why the sea lion left the river or hopped such a long way on the ground.