A sea lion was spotted trying to cross a California state road when officers stepped in and gave the pup a ride to the ocean.
But when they got there, the sea lion refused to go in the water.
The Coronado Police Department arrived at State Road 75 the evening of Nov. 23 to find motorists helping a sea lion cross the southbound lanes of the highway, the agency shared in a Nov. 27 news release.
Officers safely got the sea lion into a crate and took the animal to the ocean for a release, police said.
At the shoreline, an officer opened the crate and the sea lion spilled out onto the sand, a video from the department shows. The sea lion moves toward the water, then turns back and heads into the crate again.
Gobble was dehydrated and malnourished, police said, and after the failed release, they called in animal rescuers at SeaWorld San Diego for assistance.
The rescuers took in the creature, who’s been named Gobble, police said.
SeaWorld will try to release the sea lion back to the ocean, police said in comments on Instagram.
A spokesperson for SeaWorld San Diego told NBC10 that Gobble may have been exploring as young sea lions do during that stage of their lives.
“They’re exploring more, more independent, some are learning to eat, as Gobble is,” the spokesperson said. “They can get separated and if they don’t find each other, the pups may need help.”
Coronado is a beachside city in Southern California about five miles outside San Diego.