A tourist on vacation from Ohio got an unexpected encounter with a sea lion pup during a recent visit to SeaWorld Orlando.
Jonathan and Megan Schellhorn, visiting Orlando for a few days, took a trip to SeaWorld on Saturday. But they never expected to get up close and personal with a baby sea lion.
"It was a little nerve-wracking, but definitely good entertainment," Jonathan Schellhorn said.
He said his family was waiting out Saturday's storm when the sea lion darted out onto the visitor's walkway. Schellhorn said he was just 20 yards from the pup.
"It started toward the other direction," Schellhorn said. "It got into a big puddle, and it splashed around in there for a few minutes."
Schellhorn said it was funny at first, but then he started to worry for the safety of his wife and their son.
"He's only 3, so that was his first trip to SeaWorld," Schellhorn said. "I think my wife was probably a little bit more nervous. She's seven months pregnant."
SeaWorld said the sea lion is about 10 months old.
The Schellhorns watched it scoot from workers who eventually scooped it in a net and brought it back to the Pacific Point Preserve. The incident comes just weeks after a Gentoo penguin jumped out of its exhibit at the newly opened Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin attraction and started mingling with guests.
In an email, a SeaWorld spokesperson told FOX 35, "All animals are safe and back in their habitats."
SeaWorld said the pup started nursing from its mom just minutes after it was reunited with her. No one was hurt, including the sea lion. SeaWorld said the pup is doing just fine.
"It definitely will be a vacation to remember, for sure," Schellhorn said.