Washington state ‘road hazard’ turns out to be lost 600-pound sea lion, sheriff says

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A 600-pound sea lion was found wandering along a forest road in Washington state Sunday, “a significant distance” away from any water, authorities said.

The massive mammal was spotted on Garlock Road, outside of Castle Rock, a city just north of the Oregon border, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said.

Officials said they believed the sea lion had ventured so far from its normal waters by traveling up the Delameter Creek from the Cowlitz River.

Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Corey Huffine took a “selfie” with the “unexpected road hazard” before backup arrived.

Deputies, along with staff from the Humane Society and Cowlitz County Public Works, were at the scene for several hours until the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife could come with a trailer, the sheriff’s office said.

The agencies worked together, using plywood boards to corral the “wayward” traveler and guide it into the trailer. But the sea lion didn’t appear too happy, charging and barking at officials before staring them down outside the trailer in a video of the encounter.

Once the sea lion was coaxed into the trailer, officials said it was safely transported back to the Columbia River.

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