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A Wayward Sea Lion’s Tale

Merced County officials are scratching their heads over how a sea lion turned up in the San Joaquin Valley — about 65 miles from the ocean.

A California Highway Patrol officer received a report that the 300-pound animal was crawling in the middle of a road in Los Banos early Monday morning.

The animal didn´t appear to be injured, the officer said. The animal may have been dropped. Or, it may have made it´s way into a Los Banos canal by swimming up a river that feeds into the ocean.

The sea lion lounged in the sun on the back of a CHP patrol car this morning while CHP officers waited for marine biologists and animal control officers to arrive.