In April 2019, California police officer Roger Pereira received one of the strangest calls of his life.
Pereira was told that a 10-month-old sea lion pup was stranded on the US-101 freeway. The animal badly needed help.
At first, Pereira thought the call was a joke.
“I was skeptical there would be an actual sea lion on the freeway,” Pereira told The Dodo. “Upon arrival to the scene, sure enough, there was a baby sea lion on the freeway.”
Still skeptical, Pereira headed over to the freeway. When he got there, he was shocked to see there really was a sea lion! A group of good Samaritans surrounded the little pup, keeping him safe from traffic.
When Pereira approached the sea lion, he was surprised to see how calm he was. He looked at the traffic and people around him with curiosity, not fear.
“Even with all the loud noise of vehicles passing by and all the people around him, the sea lion was very calm and curious about what was going on,” Pereira said.
Pereira called the Marine Mammal Center, which was located just three minutes down the highway. He asked if he could drop off the sea lion, who he had nicknamed Kid. The marine center said they would take care of the little pup.
After that, Pereira opened the back door and ‘arrested’ the little sea lion.
The sea lion willingly hopped into the backseat. He was also quiet during their drive—he seemed happy and content in the backseat of the police car!
“The sea lion loved the car ride,” Pereira said. “It did not make any noises or make any erratic movements in the back of the patrol vehicle. The sea lion was very well-behaved.”
Pereira and Kid arrived at the Marine Mammal Center, and Pereira said goodbye to his new little friend. The Marine Mammal Center’s veterinarian checked out Kid, and they found he didn’t have any injuries. Once they saw that, the marine center moved Kid from the ICU to a rehabilitation pool, where he gets to hang out with lots of other sea lion pups.
Look who the CHP FOUND ON highway 101. pic.twitter.com/xGzkIGNTQ0
— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) April 30, 2019
The Marine Mammal Center thinks that Kid somehow got separated from his mom too early, which is how he ended up on the highway.
“Kid likely separated from his mother early and wasn’t quite ready to forage appropriately on his own,” Dr. Cara Field, the staff veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center, told Patch. “Although a bit malnourished, this sea lion pup is very active and feisty so we’re hopeful with immediate supportive care that he makes a full recovery.”
Kid will stay at the Marine Mammal Center until he’s fully recovered from his adventure, and then if all goes well the marine center will release him back into the wild. We’re so glad that Officer Pereira helped Kid out, and hopefully Kid’s trespassing days are behind him!
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h/t: The Dodo