(CMR) A sea lion was rescued from the San Diego highway on Friday after drivers stopped to help it before a SeaWorld rescue crew arrived to remove it to safety.
The unusual sighting was reported at 9:40 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of state Route 94, just west of Interstate 805 near the Mount Hope neighborhood, Fox 5 said.
“We were just trying to keep it from going from one side of the freeway to the other, keep it in the middle. Couple of times, he got aggressive and tried to come out towards the oncoming traffic,” Leslie Fernandes, one of the drivers who stopped to assist the animal, told FOX 5.
“They stopped it several times, but there was times when the traffic was coming, and the sea lion was moving quickly, trying to go to one side of the freeway or the other,” Fernandes added.
The rescue team from SeaWorld San Diego arrived and loaded the roughly 250-pound young male sea lion into a truck. However, according to Fox 5 reports, this was not the creature's first time being rescued.
“This animal has been in our rescue facility before. It was rescued in early November from Harbor Island Drive, was released shortly after, and has been showing up in kind of odd situations and spots since then. This is the weirdest, though,” said Eric Otjen with the SeaWorld rescue team.
The rescue team members recognized the sea lion because they had tagged it during its previous rescue. Since Thursday, the sea lion traveled to the highway from Point Loma and was in Mission Beach, Mission Bay, the and La Jolla earlier in the week, SeaWorld revealed.
“We were just glad that we were able to get out here and take care of things,” Otjen added. “This one I’ll be telling the kids about tonight.”