A sea lion in Sitka, Alaska, has finally found its way back to its home in the ocean after being stranded on land for four days. According to Anchorage News Daily, the adult male sea lion was first spotted early on Friday morning. The unusual sighting led to four days of concerted efforts from authorities in Sitka to guide the sea lion back to the ocean. On Monday afternoon, their attempts were finally successful.
According to KTVA, the sea lion, weighing 680 kgs, was tranquilised and transported to a beach in a rescue operation by the Sitka Fire Department that took over one and a half hours to complete. On waking up, it entered the ocean and swam away.
A video by a Facebook user shows the sea lion waddling back into water:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Alaska region spokeswoman Julie Speegle said to KTVA that the sea lion was about a quarter of a mile from the ocean when it got lost.
However, the fire department's earlier attempts to guide it back to the ocean were unsuccessful. The sea lion retreated into the woods after the department sprayed him with a water hose on Sunday morning.
On Sunday afternoon, the NOAA also asked locals to stay away from the woods where the distressed sea lion was hiding.
NOAA is asking the public to clear the area in Sitka where a male Steller sea lion is in distress, and is hiding in the woods; the incident is drawing onlookers. Please, for your own safety and the well-being of the animal, if you are in the area, leave. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/UosBejhlGm- NOAA Fisheries AK (@NOAAFisheriesAK) September 2, 2018
However, the successful rescue operation on Monday made a lot of netizens very happy.
"FINALLY.. FREEEEEE Willy," wrote one person on Facebook. "So happy you posted this safe return to the sea..." said another.
KTVA reports that the sea lion was last seen catching a fish.
In April this year, a sea lion in China escaped its aquarium and was found at a movie theatre.
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