Sea lion surprises workers at animal services office


A 200-pound sea lion made a surprise appearance in a California city right outside of the local animal services office.

Palo Alto Animal Services Superintendent Cody Macartney said a parks department employee spotted the sea lion near the Municipal Services Center, where Palo Alto Animal Services is headquartered, before 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Macartney said he arrived on the scene to find a handful of utility workers keeping tabs on the animal just outside the fence around the Municipal Services Center.

The superintendent said he unsuccessfully attempted to use a piece of plywood to usher the sea lion into a large dog kennel, but the animal balked. He said he and the workers ended up keeping watch on the sea lion and keeping it from going toward the nearby road while waiting for rescuers from the Marine Mammal Center.

The MMC rescuers were able to capture the sea lion with a net and load it into a cage, but not before two members of the crew and Macartney were stung by yellowjackets from a nest that was disturbed during the struggle.

MMC veterinarians said the sea lion will receive a full exam to make sure it is healthy before being released back into the ocean.