John Aravosis says that he has been going to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington D.C. for 30 years now – but he was never aware of how much one of the sea lions loved to play fetch.

According to a video that he posted on YouTube in early January, Aravosis discovered the critter’s hobby when he saw someone trailing their finger along the plexiglass.

The sea lion followed the person’s hand and twirled every time they traced a circle. Then it pointed its nose towards a little stick that was laying on the other side of the aquarium glass.

Aravosis started throwing the stick from one side of the window, to the other – and every time he did, the sea lion would swim after the twig and do a flip.

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“Until this week, I thought the sea lions simply swam by quickly and that was that,” said the digital strategist. “Well, apparently, if you get the right sea lion, he likes to play virtual fetch with a stick, just like a dog! I discovered this yesterday afternoon, and spent nearly two hours playing with this one sea lion.”

“I decided to go back today to try to shoot some video of our play time, and that’s what you’re watching here. It was one of the most amazing zoo, and animal, experiences of my life,” he added.

(WATCH the video below)

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