This Curious Sea Lion Climbed 145 Steps to Browse a Gift Shop
A sea lion with an apparent love of retail managed to climb over 100 stairs to reach a beachside gift shop this month.
Just around closing time, the sea mammal reached The Cave Store in La Jolla, which sits at the top of stairs that usually allow visitors to descend a cliff to reach idyllic Sunny Jim Sea Cave.
But the enterprising sea lion ascended the 145 steps and even managed to get the trip to pay off in the form of a seafood meal.
In store security footage, the sea lion can be seen ambling into frame just as a flummoxed woman in a wheelchair enters the store.
“It was shocking,” store manager Rachel Agosti told NBC San Diego.
The flippered visitor's curiosity quickly turned to fear and confusion, but witnesses managed to stay calm.
Thanks to some salmon the store had on hand to feed a cat, the witnesses managed to lure the sea lion out of the store an back into his natural environs after a few minutes, according to a post on the store's Facebook page.
"He wandered around the store for nearly 10 minutes, confused and scared before I got him out the back door, through the garden gate, and heading back to the ocean," the post reads.
Though it happened over a week ago, footage of the strange visit is now making its way around Facebook, leading the store to post yesterday: "Our whiskery young sea lion visitor sure is getting famous!"