Need A Lift, Little Dude?

What do you do when a bebeh sea lion hops on board your boat? Well, you cuddle him, naturally.

Video from JR Gilkinson’s Tube. Photo from CBS2, Los Angeles.



  1. Torgo's Executive Powder says:

    This was in Newport Beach? Watch out for the loose seal!

  2. He’s got the seal(ion) of approval!

  3. Before somebody says it. Yes, we all know you’re not suppose to touch wild baby annimals because their mother…yada yada yada….
    But come on! Who could resist!! I would be all over that little sweet heart!!

  4. It’s okay, Army recess is over.

  5. Rachael says:

    What she said. I think you’d never forgive yourself if you passed up the chance to pet that little guy.

  6. Where was it’s mom? Was it orphaned? Did they take it to animal rescue? WHAT HAPPENED?

  7. Janet in Cambridge says:

    It’s a myth about mother animals not taking their babies back after being touched by humans. It’s not true. The best thing is to try to reunite them with their mother or return them to their natural habitat, if they’re well and healthy. Turning them in to a shelter is the worst thing you can do.

  8. Agent99 says:

    Awesome. Simply awesome.

  9. Melissa says:

    That’s exactly what I was wondering! What do you do after that? Did he go back in the water? Did they “rescue” it? was it tired? injured? orphaned? used to humans? desperate for contact?! Argh!

  10. murkle46 says:


  11. gwyllion says:

    NOT CUTE – DISTRESSING!!!! these little guys are in distress and dying in record numbers this year – there is not enough food for the mums so they need to go farther afield to find it leaving pups for longer w/o milk, the little ones become tired and cold so they have been coming on beaches and climbing on boats – they need to be taken to wildlife rehab where they can be fed and warmed and returned to the wild. this is an ongoing tragedy – and YES some animal mothers DO reject babies after they are handled – depends on the species!

  12. D’awww! That is a great day at sea! I’d even catch fish for the pup while it slept on the rear of the boat…basking in the sun. If only they stayed that small. Very sweet video.

  13. I would let that precious baby use me as a pillow any day!

  14. Up in my neck of the woods (northern New England), a baby sea lion was recently found alone at the beach and rescued. Problem is, the mother came back and the pup was gone. Instant orphan.

    It’s a hard thing to do to just walk away but it can be the best thing for the baby. I always suggest calling Fish & Game to talk to a biologist about pest practices.

  15. sometimes the babies are too small to leave out – they will just die or be eaten. if there is no mother evident after about half an hour of watching from a distance, take them home in a plain cardboard box, put them in a dark, quiet room with NO pets, and call an animal rescue. if they can’t take it, they can tell you how to help it. animal shelters will kill up to three quarters of their charges, but animal centers and rescues are designed to help them. ask about their kill rate – if it isn’t a no-kill, it isn’t the place for the baby.
    this little guy is motherless, and hungry. he is showing stress and is looking to nurse. my only hope is that he found his colony after his hour long rest.

  16. Phoenix says:

    Wait…so your solution is to take them away from where they were waiting for their mother? They will not find each other again. Making a pup an orphan is not the way to handle it.

  17. Very wise dad, telling his kids to keep their distance. Yes, it’s a cute bebeh, but it’s also a wild animal, and therefore unpredictable. I too would have liked to hear the follow up – what happened next?

  18. It behaved like a cat … But since lions are big cats, sea lions are … erhm … big sea cats? I think the little guy felt cold on the water. There is an other video of a diver with a tiny boat and a baby seal on it who refuses to get off for a long time… Quite similar.

  19. gwyllion says:

    YOU are NOT GETTING IT – this is a huge problem – the mums are leaving for long distances not getting back in time for the babies who die of hypothermia and starvation – in marine rehab they are taken care of until they can manage on their own. Leaving them alone is KILLING THEM. READ THE ARTICLES they are ALL OVER THE NEWS!

  20. I never knew how to spell that, but that is EXACTLY how to spell that!

  21. I thought the same thing, that my kitty rubs her head all over me like that too! Further proof that “cute” is an entire species, no need to distinguish further.

  22. Phoenix says:

    First, calm the heck down. This is a site about cute pictures. Second, there is clearly a larger problem here if it’s that endemic, and I doubt humans raising an entire generation of sea lions is the solution. Wild animals need to be shown how to live by their parents, and knee-jerk figuring that every animal will die and has to be taken into captivity is dangerous thinking.

    Also, your dig at shelters was uncalled for as well as off topic. I doubt your local animal shelter would take a sea lion, anyway. That aside, shelters kill animals because people think “take it to the shelter” is the answer to dealing with pets and other critters and shelters are not funded enough to give life care to every abandoned animal. If you want humans to help animals, the humans need to be told to be more responsible, not told “take it somewhere else” is the end-all and be-all solution. Shelters do as much as they can to help a bad situation, and are staffed by amazing people and volunteers who seem to never get credit, but a lot of blame for things beyond their control.

  23. true in some cases benja, but waiting only half an hour might be intervening too early. fawns, for example, will be left all day by their mothers because they don’t feed as often as other mammals. best to call a wildlife expert before you do ANYTHING!!! local chapters can be found through simple internet search.

  24. When said animal rubs itself on you and just about puts his snout up your pants, the argument’s kind of moot.

  25. Seal is cute but that high pitched baby talk is enough to make a dolphin cover their ears.

  26. Giovanna says:

    “Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service, said it’s not uncommon for sea lion pups to become stranded, but the recent occurrences have been troubling because of the scale, the time of year and the mystery surrounding their cause.”
    This is clearly an ongoing problem, and might very well be of human origin, so I think it is appropriate and even necessary for people to take action when one comes upon one of these hapless creatures.
    If you want to know more:

  27. Giovanna says:

    I don’t think gwyllion was taking a “dig at shelters” as much as they were calling for people to intervene and take the distressed pups to the shelters, as leaving them to fend for themselves (as you seem to be calling for) almost certainly guarantees they will not survive.
    According to Dave Koontz (a spokesperson for Sea World) and the “us” is Seaworld:
    “The vast majority [of pups] are coming in malnourished and dehydrated, since they get their hydration from the fish they eat,” Koontz said. “They stay with us three to four weeks or longer, until we get their weight up and then we return them to their habitat as soon as they are healthy enough.”

  28. Very true, Phoenix. These people from shelters aren’t out to kill animals, they are simply doing what they can, which just sometimes isn’t enough to save them. The best thing one can do is FUND FUND FUND. Contact the local humane society about where best to donate money, or items the shelters need.

  29. Indeed. My jealousy of this man knows no bounds

  30. Angelique says:

    I live in Huntington Beach (only a couple miles from Newport) and used to volunteer at the Wetlands & Wildlife Conservation Center of Orange County. If you took the pup there, they would have taken great care of the pup and returned it to the wild once it was back up to health. If you can’t physically and safely take a marine mammal to a local rehabilitation center, call them or animal control and they’ll pick them up.

    Other than that, I think this pup just needed a good rest and cuddle.

  31. Angelique says:

    Oops, it’s care center (not conservation).

  32. Lucy's Mommeh says:

    That’s a dog mermaid, y’know.

  33. Hey brother

  34. 😉

  35. Laura DragonWench says:

    The high-pitched voice at the beginning was annoying enough, but what was really annoying was the video itself–not the content, but how it was filmed. Why can’t these people with their uber-fancy smart phones figure out how to use them properly? I don’t have an iPhone, but I understand you’re supposed to turn them on their side when filming so that you have a full-frame video, not a narrow vertical slit that lets you see hardly anything.

    Now that my rant is over with, how jealous am I of that guy? I want a sea lion pup to rub up, cat-like, against my legs! Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for the little guy–obviously he needs his mother–but I’m still jealous as heck.

  36. Beautiful experience!