Wayward Sea Lion Spotted Leaving Area Of Vacaville Canal

VACAVILLE (CBS / AP) — Authorities said a sea lion that had found it’s way into a drainage pipe for a canal in Vacaville on Wednesday appeared to be swimming out of the area.

“Our favorite new pinniped friend made a reappearance this morning around 8 a.m. near Leisure Town Rd.,” Vacaville police said in a Facebook post with new video of the sea lion Wednesday afternoon.

According to the post, the sea lion who was christened Mr. Leisure because of the canal’s proximity to Leisure Town Road, was seen heading east in the Ulatis Creek out of the city limits.

The sea lion apparently paused near Hawkins Road to make a meal out of a large carp, the post said.

Specialists from the Marine Mammal Center remained in the area and were monitoring his progress, police said. Based on his coloring and size, the experts said they believe Mr. Leisure is a male, about 10 years old and weighing approximately 400 pounds.

“Mr. Leisure appears in good health and they hope he will make his way back out to sea soon,” the post concluded. “We wish him a safe trip back to friends and family!”

On Tuesday, rescuers tried for hours to wrangle Mr. Leisure out of the farmland canal and take it for a checkup, officials said.

The rescue had been called off for nightfall.

The closest body of water is the Sacramento River, about 50 miles north. Experts at the center believe the animal likely traveled up the river, took a wrong turn and followed a series of agricultural ditches and waterways to get to the canal.

“Although this is a rare location for a rescue call, this animal is in very good body condition and active, so we are hoping it just made a wrong turn,” said Dr. Cara Field, staff veterinarian at the Marine Mammal Center.

The mammal looks healthy and seems to be enjoying his adventure, center spokesman Giancarlo Rulli said Tuesday.

The renewed rescue effort came a day after police officers, fire officials and more than a dozen marine responders tried unsuccessfully for hours to flush the animal out of the drainage pipe.

Officials want to take the animal, which was first spotted Tuesday morning by an animal services official, to the center in Sausalito to be evaluated.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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