SAN DIEGO, Calif. -

A wayward sea lion was spotted in an Ocean Beach  parking lot early Wednesday in the latest of a rash of unexplained incidents in  beach communities from San Diego to Santa Barbara.

      The sea lion, believed to be a pup, was discovered in the 5000 block of  Newport Avenue just before 5 a.m., according to San Diego police Sgt. Ray  Battrick.

      A rescue team from SeaWorld was requested but before the team could  arrive, the sea lion found its own way back into the ocean, he said.

      Federal wildlife officials have declared an "unusual mortality event"  for the California sea lion this year. Hundreds have been stranded along the  coast.

      Officials typically blame warmer ocean temperatures or disease for a sea  lion's trek to land but so far this year, there is no immediately obvious reason for the spike.