A surfer has documented the moment he experienced a rare and heartwarming encounter with a sea lion pup in California.
Dan Murphy was surfing off the shore of San Elijo Campground in Cardiff By-the-Sea when the little sea lion jumped onto his board.
At first he thought he was being attacked, but soon realised the pup just wanted a cuddle.
His friend Eileen Quintela ensured the whole thing was caught on camera.
According to NBC Los Angeles, Dan said the baby "spent well over an hour on my board", and that it even crawled on his lap "like a puppy".
He added: "You see a lot of wildlife. You see those pups around this time of year.
"I've never seen them interact with people like that."
Murphy was moved to tears by the encounter, and had to nudge the pup off his board in the end. He said: "I was literally in tears. I waved to him."
According to the Daily Mail, in a conference call with reporters, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) official said that up to 15 March, 750 sea lion pups had been brought into the group's facilities, to be fed back up.
Other pups have been cared for and returned to the wild by SeaWorld trainers.
Experts believe warming sea temperatures could be partly responsible for the enormous rise in sea lion strandings, changing the availability of fish and other organisms on which sea lions prey.
Female sea lions are having to swim further to find food, leading them to become prematurely separated from their pups.
Mr Murphy said he thought the sea lion on his board may have been rehabilitated and released back into the wild, because it did not look malnourished, and was so comfortable around humans.