Wayward Critter - The Irish Eye

We're accustomed to Sea Lions here in Sitka. It's common to see them in our waters and hauled out on buoys and rocks. Last night we had a large male Sea Lion come ashore in our town and work its way well inland.

The fifteen hundred pound behemoth was first sighted about two city blocks from the ocean near a local hospital. Since then its stayed close to the same area, wandering into the woods for a bit but returning to the hospital campus.

Our local police department and a National Marine Fisheries Service officer are watching over it keeping people away. I'm sure they would have closed the street if it wasn't the hospital access. Officials are hoping the animal will return to the ocean on its own. I do too, it looked pretty stressed.

Update:  The police and fire departments along with NMFS made an effort to herd the animal back to water.  It was slow going and it eventually "ran" off into the woods.  They did not pursue it.  There is no longer a police presence in the area, I hope that means it made its way into the ocean.  

Update 2: The sea lion was tranquillized this afternoon, then rolled into a front end loader and brought to one of the old sea plane ramps. After he came to he made his way into the water and swam away. He’s been seen swimming around since then and he seems to be fine. 

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