Diego, a sea lion at Salt Lake City’s Hogle Zoo, didn’t seem himself Sunday, zookeepers wrote on Facebook.
The California sea lion, who arrived at the Utah zoo in 2017 from the Indianapolis Zoo at a strapping 667 pounds, “lost interest in training,” zookeepers wrote. Then he vomited blood.
Zookeepers discovered the problem Monday morning when Diego coughed up a toddler’s sock, according to the Facebook post. It’s not clear how Diego came to eat the sock, but the zoo asked visitors to be more careful.
“Friends, animals can die from eating foreign objects,” zookeepers wrote. “PLEASE keep very careful track of your belongings near animals enclosures. Watch those little toddler socks, gloves, flip-flops, phones etc.”
Zookeepers also encouraged visitors to report any items dropped into the enclosures so they can be retrieved. “Do not feel too embarrassed to let us know,” they wrote.
Diego seems to be on the mend after his misadventure and is back to splashing around his enclosure with his fellow sea lion, Maverick, zoo officials reported.