FORT BRAGG, Calif. (KGO) -- A sea lion pup lost on a foggy stretch of Highway 1 near Fort Bragg is safe thanks to two Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies.
The deputies were on a routine patrol at 1 a.m. on April 19 when they noticed a small animal moving slowly in the roadway. Due to the darkness and dense fog, officials say the animal was hard to see and would have certainly been hit by a vehicle if they hadn't stopped.
They discovered the small animal was a California sea lion pup about 30 inches in length and weighing about 20 pounds. They say the pup had walked about a quarter mile from the ocean.
The deputies say the sea lion had an orange tag attached to his front flipper and was extremely friendly. He rubbed against their legs for attention.
Based on the information provided by the deputies, staff at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito determined the pup's health had remained stable since its release.
The deputies strapped the pup into their backseat. And then, guidance from the Marine Mammal Center, took it back to the ocean to set it free.
To report an injured or distressed marine mammal, the Marine Mammal Center can be contacted 24/7 at (415) 289-SEAL.