A wayward sea lion spent four days hanging out in the woods of Sitka, Alaska before getting help from the local fire department and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It took a team of firefighters, tranquilizer darts and a front end loader to get the dehydrated Steller sea lion back to his home.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, the sea lion had humped his way down the beach road early Friday morning and spent two days hiding in the woods. As many times as scientists tried to encourage the big guy to head back to the sea, just a quarter-mile away, he just wasn’t inclined to take the advice. The Sitka Volunteer Fire Department tried to usher him toward the sea with the gentle pressure of some fire hoses, but as he became stressed and dehydrated from being out of the water too long, volunteers and experts became worried about the sea lion’s health.
It was then decided to give the sea lion a ride back to the harbor and Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium gathered up volunteers and a front loader. On Monday, a NOAA veterinarian sedated the animal with a dart, and before long the 1,500 pound visitor gently fell to sleep. From the front loader to a flatbed truck, the big guy was on his way back to the water.
Just for tracking, pink paint and hair dye marked a number of his side so scientists could track him. At the water’s edge, he was given a series of drugs to reverse the sedation and into the water he went.
Be well big guy, and stay out in the water where you belong.
Yesterday in the news: Near death, skeletal dog found abandoned in alley – more here.
Senior dog in need: Rocky is desperate to be noticed, but nobody wants him – more about helping here.