MENDOCINO COUNTY (CBS SF) — Sheriff’s deputies rescued an unusually friendly sea lion pup found waddling along a dark Mendocino highway.

While patrolling Highway 1 south of Fort Bragg, Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies spotted an animal moving slowly in the dense fog on Sunday. They pulled over and discovered it was a sea lion pup who had traveled about a quarter mile from the ocean.

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The pup, weighing about 20 pounds with a tag attached to its front flipper, was so friendly with the deputies, it rubbed against their legs for attention.

Deputies contacted the Fort McArthur Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro. They identified the pup from the tag as having been released from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito where it learned to interact with people. The seal lion was found to be healthy.

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At the direction of the Marine Mammal Center, the Sheriff’s Deputies were asked to help the sea lion pup back to the ocean.

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It then climbed into the back of a patrol car, where deputies buckled it in with a seat belt and drove it back to the ocean.