We usually don’t make a habit of picking up hitchhikers. But for this little guy, we'd make an exception. 

Captain Ryan Lawler of Newport Coastal Adventure was out on the water in California's Laguna Beach when this tiny sea lion pup decided to come aboard. And as much as we'd love to believe the stowaway simply wanted to join Lawler's crew, it's more likely that he spotted a predator or was too tired to swim on.

“Why it wanted to be on the boat, versus the rock with all the other sea lions, I can’t say,” Lawler told GrindTV. “It was obviously cold and shivering, and seemed to enjoy being on our boat very much.”

Some have suggested that the pup looks thin, but without a proper examination, it's hard to say for sure if it was sick or injured. 

“We let him hang out for five minutes while we got all the pictures we wanted, and then gently nudged him off with a deck brush.”

Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation, do what your momma told you and look with your eyes just like these tourists did. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the moment and snapping some pictures, but far too often, eager humans make the mistake of getting too close to wildlife. Besides ... sea lions carry syphilis. You don’t want that. 


Top header image: Justin Garland/Flickr