Sea Lion Scampers Into Sausalito Intersection

Officers corral "Scotty J" with a leash

Another sea lion is making news today because of an out-of-water experience.

Someone called police at about 2:30 a.m. reporting a sea lion on the road by Kappas Marina in Sausalito.

Officers went out to the scene and, sure enough, found the animal at an intersection on Bridgeway Boulevard, just under the 101 overpass. They corraled the creature, using a leash to get it into the car and held onto it until marine experts got to there and took over.

The marine mammal experts from Sausalito Marine Mammal Center dubbed him Scotty J and took him to the center, where he's now and sharing his story with other sea lions that have been rescued from city streets and freeways.

The ever-burning question is: why do sea lions wander onto roadways?

Scientists think El Nino, which brings warmer currents to the Pacific Ocean, could be responsible. Fish, squid, anchovies and sardines, the main staples of the sea lion diet, follow the colder currents out to the open water.

So, with a depleted food source at the coastline, the younger, less experienced marine mammals are forced to go to dry land in search for food.

Scotty J is about a year old and doesn't look to be malnourished, Marine Mammal Center spokesman  Jim Oswald said.  However, the animal has been acting a bit sluggish, which could indicate a neurological condition, Oswald said. The marine experts will give Scotty J a thorough exam later today.

The Marine Mammal Center this weekend will release a sea lion that found its way onto 880 in Oakland on June 22. The team nicknamed that one Fruitvale and has spent the past few weeks nursing him back to health.

Fruitvale was malnourished but is doing well now and ready to return to the wild. Marine mammal experts will release him at the Farallon Islands on Saturday, along with other rehabbed sea patients they've been caring for at the center.

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