UPDATE, 10:50 a.m. Friday:A different California sea lion made its way into San Simeon early Friday near the Cavalier Inn. State Parks rangers kept an eye on it until The Marine Mammal Center volunteers could pick up the 90-100 pound animal, which was named Doug after one of the rangers.
Doug, who seemed in good health except for a shut right eye, was taken to the TMMC triage center in Morro Bay near the power plant, where he ate some fish, a healthy sign.
He joined Princess Daisy, an ill female lion picked up from an Oceano beach Thursday. Both will be taken to Monterey today, where they will rest before arriving at TMMC's main facility in Sausalito Saturday.
Anyone coming upon a sick or injured marine mammal can reach TMMC in this area at 771-8300.
UPDATE, 2:20 p.m. Thursday:
The marine mammal blocking Highway 1 near Hearst Castle early this morning was a sea lion, not an elephant seal, State Parks officials have confirmed. It appeared to be ill, but made its own way back to the ocean after it was herded off the highway. Marine Mammal Center volunteers were notified, and they and State Parks officials are on the lookout in case it returns.
UPDATE:The sea lion was reportedly "well off" the roadway by 8:26 a.m. and all lanes were reopened.
As of 8:15 a.m., the CHP reported that the sea lion is working its way to the shoulder and the roadway is now partially open.
Highway 1 is currently closed in the area of Hearst Castle Road because of a sea lion blocking the roadway, according to CHP.
A section of the highway was closed about 7:50 a.m. It is located about nine miles north of Cambria at the intersection of the entrance to Hearst Castle.