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Sea lion recovering after collapse on Los Angeles street

By
Ben Hooper

July 27 (UPI) -- A sea lion is recovering after being rescued by a man who found it collapsed on a Los Angeles road amid a heat wave.

Longshoreman Carlos Gutierrez said he was leaving work on Monday afternoon when he spotted the sea lion collapsed amid the trucks going in and out of the Port of Los Angeles.

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"I saw him and thought, 'Oh, that's not happening,'" Gutierrez told the Daily Breeze. "So I stopped my car."

Video recorded at the scene shows Gutierrez pouring water on the sea lion while two other drivers who stopped to help worked to direct traffic around the ailing animal.

Peter Wallerstein, president of the Marine Animal Rescue Team, arrived on the scene with a team of rescuers. They put up a tent to keep the sun off the sea lion while they tried to load it into a vehicle.

"I attempted to loop him, and he came alive and he violently tried to get away," Wallerstein told Patch.

The team was eventually able to get the sea lion to a facility, where it was found to be suffering from malnutrition and a lung infection.

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Wallerstein said it was the largest sea lion he had ever encountered stranded in a road.

"Maybe we get 5 a year like that, but never anything that big. He was 245 pounds. But he should be 350 pounds," he said.

Wallerstein said the sea lion's condition is improving after a few days of veterinary care.

"The vet said he was doing well yesterday. He was swimming in a pool," Wallerstein said. "I have very high hopes."

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