Sea lion 'still feisty' after fall to California highway

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A sea lion pup was in critical condition but “still feisty” Wednesday after it fell more than 30 feet (9 meters) from a footbridge onto a highway in California, officials said.

The 33-pound (15 kilograms) pup, now named “Lords-a-Leaping,” was dehydrated and emaciated when it was rescued Monday evening in Laguna Beach by staff from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, The Orange County Register reported.

It did not appear to suffer any fractures or internal injuries.

Most animals at the center are considered to be in critical condition for at least a week after they arrive, animal care coordinator Wendy Leeds told The Associated Press.

“He is up, he is eating and he is still feisty,” Leeds said.

The animal crawled up to the footbridge and jumped onto the shoulder of the highway before staff from Pacific Marine Mammal Center arrived.

It was unclear what prompted the pup to head to the footbridge.

“The winter conditions combined with his malnourished state could have caused him to seek shelter as far away from the ocean as possible in an attempt to stay warm,” Peter Chang, the mammal center's chief executive officer, told The Register on Tuesday. “I went to the center (Tuesday) and was surprised and very happy to see he was alert.”