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Washington State police officers came across a big surprise, literally, a 500-pound (227 kg) sea lion, while patrolling a road in a forested area.
The imposing mammal was spotted in Cowlitz County, a few kilometers from a water source large enough for it, according to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (WDFW).
“Although it is not uncommon for sea lions to end up in the Cowlitz River at this time of year, especially with the large presence of smelt, it was quickly determined that Steller sea lions had certainly a few twists and turns, “said Becky Bennett of WDFW to CNN.
The sea lion finally ended up in a wooded area generally populated by deer and elk, and this, miles from a river capable of accommodating it.
The Stellar Sea Lion was first noticed by wildlife officials on Saturday evening, but due to the limited resources they had at the time, they planned to move the mammal overnight.
However, the animal had other plans: it continued to venture deeper inland during the night.
He was even seen sitting on the road and even in the garage entrance of a resident.
Cowlitz County Sheriff Sergeant Corey Huffine took a quick selfie with the towering beast and shared it on Facebook.
Several organizations: Sheriff, Cowlitz County Humanitarian Society, WDFW and the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, worked together to trap the sea lion to bring it back to the Columbia River.
Wildlife officials said that the health of the sea lion had been checked before its release and that it had managed to swim and get away from the shore without incident.
Watch the Viral Youtube Video below …