A 600-pound Steller sea lion caused quite a stir in Cowlitz County when she was spotted wandering two miles from the river.
Getting the sea lion back into the water was no easy task.
“You don’t really train for manhandling sea lions, as we say, but it’s a part of the job,” said Capt. Eric Anderson, with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
On camera, the pregnant sea lion can be see barking and lunging at officers. She wasn’t too pleased when officers used boards to corral her and load her up on a trailer to take her back to the water.
“She’s 600 pounds charging at you like a linebacker. She’s going to bull you over and step on you,” said Sgt. Patrick Anderson, WDFW.
Anderson had never received a call like this before. The female sea lion somehow ended up two miles from the Cowlitz River.
Early Sunday morning, someone spotted her in the middle of Garlock Road. WDFW officers believe she traveled up Delameter Creek from the Cowlitz River while feasting on smelt, but they don’t know why she left the water and headed uphill to dry land.
“She made her way through this little draw and ended up popping out up here on 115 Garlock Road in the resident’s driveway,” Anderson said.
“That’s pretty crazy, that’s pretty uncommon that they’re that far from water,” resident Larry Dreyer told KIRO 7
If officers would’ve left the sea lion, it wouldn’t have ended well.
“She wouldn’t have survived this if we wouldn’t have moved her,” said Sgt. Anderson.
Once they loaded her on the trailer, wildlife officials drove the feisty sea lion down to the Columbia River where they released her back into the water, which is where she’s supposed to be.
“She’s probably much happier now and probably got a good meal in her, too, with all the fish around,” Anderson said.
Check out the full video below.
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