The award for the cutest criminal ever goes to a lost sea lion, after police ‘arrested’ it for trespassing on a busy road.
Police Officer Roger Pereira got a call about the unusual situation earlier this week, when the adorable animal wandered on to the busy US-101 road, just south of San Francisco, and started holding up traffic.
At first, the officer thought the person who reported the seal must have been mistaken. To be fair, it is quite an unbelievable situation – but it proved just too unbelievable to make up.
Look who the CHP FOUND ON highway 101. pic.twitter.com/xGzkIGNTQ0
— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) April 30, 2019
Officer Pereira spoke to The Dodo about his reaction to hearing of the trespasser, saying:
I was skeptical there would be an actual sea lion on the freeway.
Upon arrival to the scene, sure enough, there was a baby sea lion on the freeway.
When the officer arrived, the little animal, which was just 10 months old, was being looked after by a few concerned drivers who had pulled over to keep an eye on him.
Despite being far from his natural habitat, and surrounded by humans and cars, the adventurous animal seemed calm and content with his situation.
Officer Pereira continued:
[The drivers] were standing next to it making sure it did not walk into the lanes of traffic.
I was in shock and could not believe my eyes that I was actually looking at a sea lion on such a busy freeway.
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.
The police officer decided to take action and remove the animal in the back of his police car, but luckily the little creature didn’t need to be put in handcuffs to be persuaded to get inside.
Which is just as well, really, because sea lions don’t have hands.
Officer Pereira simply opened the door, and the animal hopped obediently inside. Maybe he was just fascinated with cars and had wandered to the road to get a closer look?
The rescuer explained:
The moment the door opened, the sea lion jumped right into the back seat of the patrol vehicle without needing any type of motivation.
The sea lion loved the car ride. 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.
Rather than submitting him to the slammer, Officer Pereira dropped the sea lion at the nearby Peninsula SPCA, from which he was transferred to The Marine Mammal Rescue Center.
The sea lion was examined, and thankfully was found to be healthy, besides slight malnutrition and a minor cut to his flipper.
Speaking to Patch, Dr. Cara Field, a staff veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center, speculated about how the sea lion had ended up on the busy road.
Kid likely separated from his mother early and wasn’t quite ready to forage appropriately on his own.
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.
Hopefully the curious little creature will be released back into the wild before too long, though hopefully he’ll have learned his lesson about avoiding busy roads!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.