Stray sea lion roams the streets of Lincoln City, refuses fish and returns to the ocean


Lincoln City residents had an additional guest for Thanksgiving weekend: a sea lion who spent Friday night wandering around a residential area of ​​the city.

The sea lion exited the Siletz River on Southeast 51st Street, according to Lincoln City police, who arrived at the scene and put up a fence around the animal.

With little experience reuniting lost sea lions, officers turned to the Oregon State Police’s Fishing and Wildlife Division and North Lincoln Fire & Rescue, who also seemed puzzled. . Over the course of a few hours, officers attempted several plans to put the sea lion, which they named Tiffany, back into the water.

“Tiffany was very happy to stay in the middle of the road and slowly moved closer to the 101 freeway,” the police department wrote in its test account, posted on Facebook on Friday.

In order to lure the sea lion out of the way, the authorities naturally turned to the fish – an offer probably too good to refuse. An officer took to the street to the IGA village market in Kenny, police said, where they obtained several packages of fresh fish, donated by the store to the cause.

“The gift of fish was presented to Tiffany, who was interested in the fish, but was probably overly stimulated and was unfortunately unwilling to follow the bait,” police said.

Maybe the fish were not up to their ocean standards.

With their offer of peace snubbed, the police instead decided to lock up the sea lion. Using sheets of plywood, they slowly led Tiffany to the nearest river access point, three blocks away. houses.

“After several breaks for fun [of] Tiffany’s health (and a few refreshing dips in garden hoses), she was guided to an opening that led to the river, ”police said. “The tide was currently low and would take a little longer before it was completely covered with water, but it has settled down quietly. [in] a small section of stream and seemed happy to wait until the next tide.

Officers said they had never seen anything like it in Lincoln City, but rogue sea lions are not unheard of in the Northwest.

In 2020, a huge sea lion made its way down a Cowlitz County road after leaving a river and making its way through wooded hills. The aggressive female defied anyone who dared to approach her, prolonging the stalemate overnight and into the next day. The crews eventually managed to lock the sea lion in a cage and bring it back to the Columbia River.

Decades ago, Lincoln City had its own famous sea lion who was known to break into residents. houses. This sea lion, named Joe, was roped up and kept in an enclosure, briefly becoming a local celebrity, according to a detailed history of the event by the Oregon Coast Beach Connection.

Like Tiffany, Joe refused to eat any fish offered by humans and was eventually brought back to the ocean – perhaps proving once and for all that open water really is the only home for stray sea lions.

–Jamie Hale; [email protected]; 503-294-4077; @HaleJamesB


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