Golfers at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad must have been wondering if their eyes were playing tricks on them Thursday when they spied a sea lion on the course.
Staff at the resort wasted no time alerting SeaWorld's rescue team, which arrived to discover the very pregnant marine mammal, which was miles from the nearest beach. Resort staff told NBC 7 that SeaWorld workers told them that it was common for sea lions to seek land during pregnancy, "just closer to the actual shore."
The animal's rescuers suspect she took advantage of last night's high tide to travel far up the nearby Bataquitos Lagoon in order to make it all the way to the resort.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
"The team was able to safely get her on the rescue truck and transport her to the Carlsbad State beach to relocate and return her back to the ocean," Tracy Spahr, a publicist with SeaWorld, told NBC 7. "She looked in good health, and, due to her pregnancy, the ocean is the best location for her to be and give birth when she is ready."
Thursday's peripatetic pinniped reminds one of the recidivist sea lion SeaWorld named Freeway for his delight of landlubbing. The curious juvenile male sea lion who turned heads back in January when he somehow ended up on a local freeway was rescued from another strange place yet again in May.
In fact some wags are now wondering: Could Carlsbad's newest resident be Freeway's girlfriend?