SONOMA (KRON) — An elephant seal was still trying to cross state Highway 37 in Sonoma County from nearby waters Tuesday morning. The seal was causing major traffic problems Monday afternoon as it repeatedly tried to cross Hwy 37.
The animal was initially reported on Highway 37 near Sears Point and state Highway 121 and was trying to get over the center divider wall, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.
Motorists stopped to try to help the elephant seal but “it did not want their help,” Barclay said. CHP officers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Marin County-based Marine Mammal Center all responded to assist the seal.
Crews were able to divert the animal back into the water but it is “very committed to crossing” and “keeps trying to come out,” Barclay said.
The elephant seal is an adult female, weighing up to 1000 pounds, according to marine life experts. Experts say it is possible that the seal could be pregnant and is trying to find a place to give birth.
TMMC stayed with the seal until dark Monday evening and when they returned Tuesday morning, the seal was still in the water looking as though she still wants to cross the highway.
TMMC’s main goal is to get the seal onto a safe, dry spot and away from the road. They originally wanted to put her in a crate and relocate her somewhere safe, but she is too large for a crate. Wildlife officials are now hoping to steer the lost seal out of an inlet back to open water using a kayak