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 from Sausalito eventually coaxed the lost sea lion into a wire cage, where it promptly fell asleep.
The 36-pound sea lion, nicknamed Hoppie, is recovering at the center in Sausalito where he is undergoing treatment for open sores.
Center officials said he also is getting some much needed nourishment. Before he can be returned to the wild, Hoppie needs to gain weight.
The Center always is in need of donation which can be made at the Marine Mammal Center website.