CASTLE ROCK, Wash. — A sea lion is back where it belongs after venturing into a neighborhood just outside of Castle Rock.
"I've never seen anything like that," Jeff Bergman said.
Bergman has lived in the hills west of Castle Rock for decades. He has never seen what he stumbled across on his way to work early Sunday morning.
"It was just weird," said Bergman. "I stopped and snapped pictures because nobody is going to believe it."
Bergman saw a sea lion on the side of Garlock Road. It is believed to have gotten there by way of the Cowlitz River and Delameter Creek.
"I haven't seen a sea lion this far from the Cowlitz," he said.
It was an impressive sight. It was just as impressive as the effort to safely capture the sea lion. People from multiple agencies spent more than an hour trying to corral the sea lion.
"At times we could tell she was getting stressed out," said Scott Schroeder of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. "We'd take a couple minute rest and let her calm down a little bit."
Their patience eventually paid off. Crews used boards to make a funnel and ushered the sea lion into a crate. Once inside, the sea lion was relocated to the Columbia River, but not before giving neighbors a lifetime memory.
"It was crazy," said Bergman.