SAN DIEGO—A sea lion that may have lost its bearings or been struck by wanderlust roamed onto the freeway Jan. 7, stopping traffic while concerned motorists, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers, and SeaWorld personnel rescued the wayward aquatic animal.
The errant sea mammal appeared on the eastbound side of State Route 94 in the Stockton area, about three miles from San Diego Bay and eight miles from the ocean—shortly after 9:30 a.m., Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt said.
Drivers pulled over and waved oncoming traffic away from the creature as it traversed the lanes and into a center divider area.
The Highway Patrol arrived a short time later and stopped traffic while SeaWorld animal handlers were en route. By the time they got there, the straying sea lion had made its way back across the roadway and taken refuge in an adjacent open area covered by ice plant.
The personnel from the maritime theme park used a net to capture the apparently unscathed sea lion, taking custody of it about 10:30 a.m., according to Bettencourt.
“So, happy ending,” the officer said.