Sea Lion Found at La Jolla Restaurant to Be Returned to Ocean

The sea lion pup that captured the hearts of thousands on the internet after she was found curled up in a La Jolla restaurant booth will be returned to the wild on Tuesday.

The sickened pup, “Marina,” has been recovering at SeaWorld since she was rescued by park workers in February. She was found at The Marine Room Restaurant after somehow getting into the dining hotspot and making her way into a booth with a scenic view of the beach below.

Tuesday morning, park workers, along with Bernard Guillas -- the chef who first found Marina and has been visiting her at SeaWorld -- will boat out several miles off the coast of San Diego to free Marina.

Park officials say the once emaciated pup is now a healthy weight, gaining more than 25 pounds, has a healed eye and has shown she can forage for food in the wild.

“The SeaWorld veterinarians and rescue team members have been very pleased with her recovery,” a SeaWorld news release said.

When the pup was found, Marine Room executive chef took some photos of the whiskered patron that were liked and shared on Facebook thousands of times.

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