Caught on camera: Nurse rescues sea lion while on vacation in California

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (PIX11) – A nurse vacationing in California saved a dying sea lion with the help of her son in a sweet example of inter-species rescue caught on camera.

“It changed my life,” Anna Priest told KFOR, recalling the experience.

While walking along the beach, friends lead Priest and her son off the beaten path to a remote location to get a better look at the stunning coast, but what they found was very different.

A sea lion was lying on the rocks, baking in the sun.

“We came around it and its eyes were open, so I knew it was alive,” Priest recalled. “It looks dead … It looks dead, and I was like, ‘We’ve got to do something. We’ve got to get it in the water.’”

Priest’s friends said there was no hope for the animal and refused to help, but the nurse and her son gave it a shot – something the sea lion probably did not expect.

“It had given up hope,” she said. “Then all of a sudden, it started crying.”

Priest poured sea water on the sea lion’s fried skin, cooling him off. Eventually, he was on his flippers and struggling to make his way back to sea. Video of the rescue shows Priest gently pushing the animal along as it climbed over rocks toward the waves.

“I feel like we need to help everyone and everything,” Priest said. “If we see a need and you know we can fill it, at least try, just try, you know?”