Sea Lion Waddles Onto Grounds at Oakland Airport

Dec 21, 2018

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A flippered intruder waddled its way onto the grounds of Oakland International Airport (OAK) and provided an adorable distraction for airport workers early Thursday morning.

A sea lion was one of the legions of mammals (most others were human) heading to the airport on one of the busiest air travel day of the hectic two-week Christmas and New Year’s season. Employees at OAK spotted the young sea lion in the wee hours of the morning and called the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office to shepherd the marine mammal back to the safety of the nearby bay.

The sea lion was maybe looking to board a “flight to Hawaii,” the sheriff’s office joked on Twitter.


The little sea lion, which the officers named Cruizin, returned to the airport shortly after he was gently shooed away. So, the sheriff’s office called in marine life experts to step in and help return him to the bay. According to local news station KPIX 5, Cruizin the sea lion was brought to the Marine Mammal Center’s facility in Sausalito, where he it will be evaluated for information like sex, age and any potential ailments.

Image by the Marine Mammal Center via KPIX 5 News.

“The sea lion will stay in the holding pen until Center experts are comfortable moving the animal into a standard rehabilitation pool pen to continue its rehabilitation treatment,” Giancarlo Rulli from the Center told KPIX 5.

Here’s hoping Cruizin booked that holiday flight to Hawaii on a card that offers good trip protection.

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