‘Franklin’ The 700-Pound Sea Lion Returns To OC Creek

IRVINE (CBSLA.com) — A 700-pound sea lion captured over the weekend was back up an Orange County creek on Monday.

Officials from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center responded to a call around 9:00 a.m. reporting a sea lion in a flood control channel near 2180 Barranca Parkway, Irvine Police Lt. Julia Engen said.

Police monitored the location of the full-grown 700-pound adult male sea lion as he traveled upstream just south of Warner Avenue until officials from the Marine Mammal Center arrived at about 11:00 a.m., Engen said.

Officials did confirm it was the same sea lion that was captured basking in the creek’s two-feet-deep water and then released out into sea on Saturday.

Animal Services Officers Hope Darrow and Casey Pickett assisted Pacific Marine Mammal Center personnel in finally recapturing the animal shortly before noon, Engen said.

Rescue workers from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center said the sea lion is an excellent swimmer, which inspired them to name him “Franklin” after Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin.

Franklin is expected to be re-released at San Onofre State Beach.

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