Authorities and animal rescuers in California came to the assistance of a wayward sea lion spotted making its way to a busy stretch of highway.
The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito said the sea lion, dubbed Gilligan by rescuers, was spotted Sunday next to Interstate 5 in the Tracy area.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office’s Animal Services unit and troopers with the California Highway Patrol arrived on the scene first and monitored the sea lion while waiting for personnel from the Marine Mammal Center.
Dave Zahniser, the Marine Mammal Center’s response training and operations manager, said Gilligan appears to be healthy and likely became lost while searching for food.
“So, what we see with animals like this is they’re following food,” Zahniser told KTXL-TV. “They’re opportunistic and there is quite a bit of food in the waterways around the Bay Area.”
He said Gilligan will likely be released back into the ocean after a few days of observation.