Escaped Sea Lion Evades Capture For Days And Wanders Streets Of A Small Town

A sealion has been safely returned to the sea after spending four days on the run in a small town in Alaska.

The hefty chap was spotted by local residents at around 2am last Friday about a quarter of a mile from the sea in the town of Sitka, further sighting poured in in the coming days.

Although sealions are mammals - and therefore breathe air - they're adapted to life on and in the water and can't hunt on land.

Credit: Sitka Volunteer Fire Department
Credit: Sitka Volunteer Fire Department

Authorities issued warnings to the general public to keep away from the animal and report any sighting to the Marine Mammal Standing Network.

The animal, estimated to be about eight feet long, was seen on Sunday, where he ended up in a doorway near a hospital. A team of rescuers attempted to guide him back to the sea, with firefighters aiming their hoses at him in attempts to get him moving.

Fire chief Dave Miller, told the Anchorage Daily News: "It started taking off ... went down, oh, about halfway to the water, with us sort of pushing it along with the hose.

"And all of a sudden, it decided 'I'm done with this,' and it went into the woods."

The frightened animal hide out in the woods, with Julie Speegle of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), saying he was 'likely stressed, dehydrated and hungry'.

By Monday, concerned wildlife officials decided they needed to intervene to ensure the animal was safe and could be returned to the sea, the Miami Herald reports.

So, once again, rescuers stepped up and it was decided the best cause of action would be to tranquilize him before returning him to the water using a front-end loader to put him onto a flatbed truck.

Once at the water front they positioned the sealion so he would wake up and see the ocean - then they waited.

Upon waking, the animal plodded towards the water, while onlookers clapped and cheered.

Speegle added: "He didn't even look back and they watched him for a while and saw him catch a fish. So that's a good sign."

Featured Image Credit: Sitka Volunteer Fire Department

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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