UPDATE: Sea lion disoriented but in good condition

A young California sea lion that made its way from a nearby slough to a busy San Carlos intersection during this morning's commute is a bit disoriented, but in good condition, a spokesman from the Marine Mammal Center said.

The sea lion, who is between 6 months and 1 year old and weighs around 100 pounds, is being hydrated and monitored at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, spokesman Jim Oswald said.

“We will do a full exam within the next 48 hours to determine if he has any toxic algae poisoning or other diseases,” Oswald said. “We hope that if all the exams check out he can be returned to the wild.”

Police received reports of a sea lion on one of the city's main thoroughfares in the 1000 block of Old County Road at 8:05 a.m. When officers arrived they stopped traffic in both directions in order to rescue the animal, according to San Carlos police Cmdr. Rich Cinfio. The sea lion apparently made its way to the road from a nearby slough.

“There are several drainage creeks and sloughs in San Carlos, including one very near the area where the sea lion was found. We expect that it came up the slough from the bay to San Carlos,” Cinfio said.

When officers arrived at the scene, they stopped traffic in both directions and used a large blanket to corral the animal into a canine kennel, Cinfio said.

“It didn't want to go in there, but we understand that it was probably just frightened of us,” Cinfio said. “We just wanted to do our best to rescue it and make sure it was safe.”

After half a dozen police officers got the animal in the cage it was transported to the police garage. Police had contacted the Marine Mammal Center, which told them not to give the animal any water and to keep a blanket over the cage to keep people away from it, Cinfio said.

The sea lion waited for around 45 minutes for a mammal center staff member to pick it up.

“This was a new one for us,” Cinfio said. “We have never had to save a marine mammal before, and we are all just glad that everything turned out well.”

Bay City News

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