SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Why was the sea lion trying to cross the road? Motorists on California's Route 94 saw a surprise in the eastbound lanes of San Diego's Fairmount Park neighborhood - a 200-pound juvenile male sea lion. Nah, he wasn't thumbing a ride. Sea lions don't have thumbs, remember? But he may have been trying to get somewhere. Rescue workers recognized him. This animal has been in our rescue facility before, Eric Ojten of the SeaWorld San Diego Rescue Team told reporters. He said the sea lion had been rescued in early November after being found on the road, released shortly after that, and has since shown up in kind of odd situations and spots since then. SeaWorld says the lion was taken to their place for about a week, then released back into the ocean. But the following month, he was seen along the boardwalk in Mission Beach, near a deli in Mission Bay and the Navy base on Point Loma.
Researchers wonder what keeps calling him back on land. May I venture a thoroughly unscientific guess? San Diego is famous for its fish tacos. Surely, this sea lion could dive and catch his own squid and herring. But doesn't it sound appealing to just waddle up and get your fish served in a soft tortilla with chili lime crema and pico de gallo?
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.