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I think he was just a LITTLE lost

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sea Lion Found Stranded Far from Ocean

Feb 11, 10:00 am ET

By Gina Keating
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Why did the sea lion cross the road in central California farm country?

That's what state wildlife officials were trying to figure out on Tuesday, a day after a male sea lion was spotted wandering in a farmer's field about 65 miles inland and about a mile from a canal, the nearest body of water.

Police and wildlife officials in Los Banos were skeptical when reports about the 315-pound sea lion started arriving about 7 a.m. on Monday.

A dubious California Highway Patrol officer making a traffic stop on the same street was the first to the scene after he was alerted by a passing motorist in the town about 120 miles southeast of San Francisco.

"He went to check it out, and lo and behold, there was a sea lion in a farmer's field," CHP Officer Mike Panelli said.

When he got the call an hour later, California Department of Fish and Game biologist Greg Gerstenberg thought he would find a large otter or beaver roaming the farmland.

"We didn't believe it could be a sea lion, or a seal as they called it at first," Gerstenberg said. "Sometimes what people see and what it is are different. I had never heard of a sea lion in Merced County."

The creature was dubbed "CHiPpy" -- based on the nickname for highway patrol officers -- after he climbed up on a CHP squad car to sun himself and gaze at the growing crowd of gawkers while awaiting volunteers from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito to come and round him up, Gerstenberg said.

Biologists and volunteers from the center herded the barking sea lion into a pen and took him to the facility just north of San Francisco for a checkup.

On Tuesday, CHiPpy, who is believed to be about five years old, was lolling in the California sun and soaking up attention from TV cameras, Cynthia Schramm, Marine Mammal Center spokeswoman, said.

"He's in very good shape and our veterinarians will take a blood test to see if he has any illnesses or infections related to his journey," Schramm said. "We will make a decision at that time when and where he will be released."

Gerstenberg said the sea lion probably swam up the San Joaquin River in pursuit of fish and became lost in a series of canals that crisscross some of the state's most fertile farmlands in a journey of more than 100 miles.

"There are lots of little crossings over the canals and probably when he reached ... a wider crossing he didn't find the other side and he started wandering up the road."
post #2 of 10
LOL! Must have scared the barn cats!
post #3 of 10
They found a bullet lodged into his spine behind his head. They don't think they will release him back to the wild because of this. The are also going to try and find whose gun the bullet came from and then prosecute them. Thats all I know for now! But he sure was cute when he was sleeping on the back of the patrole car.
post #4 of 10
Oh he was adorable sitting up there on the police car acting like it wasn't strange that he was over 100 miles inland lol! It was a big story on our news last night. I hope he's alright and able to be released, I hadn't heard about the bullet yet.
post #5 of 10
oh boy!!
post #6 of 10
That is kindof funny, and yet so sad, since he had this buttin in him. I hope he will be ok.
post #7 of 10
I hope he will be alright!

I love Sea Lions..
post #8 of 10
I probably would have thought I was hallucinating. Luckily he was found. Remember the story of the "confused" sea elephant in New Zealand a few years ago? He kept trying to mate with cars. Footage of him "romancing" a car was shown all over the world.
post #9 of 10
If I found that sea lion I would start wondering what did I ate or drank that has me like that

Here there have been many sea lions or seals found on the northern shore of Puerto Rico, all of them a "little lost".

Hope the sea lion will be allright!
post #10 of 10
Wow... a sea lion on a farmer's field. That's a first! Well at least he's out of harms way.
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