The Oregonian –
When the call came in Saturday evening, Cowlitz County deputies were dubious.
Several miles west of the Cowlitz River and sleepy downtown Castle Rock, a driver said they spotted a massive sea lion walking down the middle of a rural road.
Dispatchers were disbelieving. “I’m sorry. A feline? No? A Sea lion?”
“It just doesn’t sound right,” Troy Brightbill, the chief criminal deputy at the sheriff’s office, said of the marine mammal sighting, reported about 8 p.m.
Eventually, law enforcement officers and wildlife officials confirmed it with their own eyes. An estimated 600- to 700-pound female Steller sea lion had indeed made its way into the hills from the river, traveling up various creeks and onto Garlock Road in a wooded area of the southwest Washington county.
Scott Schroeder, a wildlife officer with Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, responded to a landscape he described as a “pretty, rolling, forested area.”