Ending up in the back of a cop’s cruiser is rarely a pleasant experience — but this little sea lion didn’t seem to mind.
California Highway Patrol officers rescued the baby marine mammal Tuesday after they got a call around 8:30 a.m. reporting “a sea lion in distress” on Highway 101 northbound, just south of San Francisco near the city’s airport, officers wrote on Twitter.
Responding officers discovered the animal “healthy and uninjured,” sharing photos that showed the sea lion sitting in the back of a Highway Patrol cruiser with its head cocked and with its head peering out the open rear window.
A Highway Patrol report said concerned witnesses stopped on the road and put their flashers on to keep the sea lion from venturing into traffic and getting hurt, NBC Bay Area reports.
One man even tried — with no success — to “herd the mammal with a handkerchief” before officers arrived, SFGATE reports.
Officers drove the animal to the SPCA for treatment, the Highway Patrol said.
CHP logs said the baby animal, which may have strayed from Colma Creek, will be handled by the Marine Mammal Center going forward, according to SFGATE.
“Today’s rescue of a California sea lion is a great example of the importance of members of the public giving our rescue hotline a call to report a marine mammal in distress,” said Dr. Cara Field, a Marine Mammal Center veterinarian, according to SFGATE. “This action allows our expert veterinary team to provide immediate supportive care and give this sea lion a second chance at life.”
Video posted by an ABC 7 reporter on Twitter shows the Highway Patrol cruiser carrying the sea lion from above, as the young animal makes the most of its time in the back seat.