SAN LUIS OBISPO (CBS SF) — It’s pupping season along the California coast — a time when massive marine mammals get themselves in all kinds of unusual predicaments.

Near San Luis Obispo, Sheriff deputies turned into elephant seal herders after a young bull wandered across Highway 1 into a nearby field on Wednesday.

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Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said a Marine Mammal Center representative believed the young male seal may have fled the beach after losing a battle with an older bull.

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Three deputies surrounded the wayward mammal and by waving their arms and red paddle, were able to guide the seal across the freeway, through a fence and back to the beach.

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In a post on the sheriff’s facebook page, deputies said: “You never know what your day will look like when you put on your uniform. Today it was one of our local elephant seals that needed help finding his way home!”