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Elephant Seal That Kept Trying To Cross A Highway In California Gives Birth

This is one determined momma.

Originally posted on
Updated on

In a post on Instagram, National Park Service staff at the Point Reyes said the seal, Tolay, gave birth to a pup over the weekend! The birth was observed from the elephant seal overlook at Chimney Rock.

The new development comes just days after the elephant seal was relocated from Highway 37, where she caused a scene while trying repeatedly to cross.

One caller told the CHP that the seal was in the slow lane, and another said it had tried to attack a car, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

When officers arrived to the scene, the seal was out of the roadway — but causing traffic problems as drivers slowed down to take a look.

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A team from the Marine Mammal Center responded to try to shoo the seal back to water and safety. The seal, however, did not cooperate.

We are still on scene SR 37 E/ of SR 121 with a sea lion that wants no part of us. Rdwy clear but traffic is heavy

CHP officers nicknamed the seal Tolay for the creek it swam in from. If Tolay crossed the highway, authorities worried the seal wouldn't be able to get back to open waters.

We've been asked a lot today why not just let the elephant seal cross the road. Answer:there is no water or outlet to the bay north of SR 37

On Tuesday, the seal again remained next to the highway. Kayakers from the Marine Mammal Center once more tried to usher her out to the bay.

Pic from a few mins ago. @TMMC herding the #elephantseal from the hwy. Both parties still in negotiations

It didn't work, and Tolay made her way inland through a viaduct.

@TMMC working to get Tolay back out to the bay.

Finally, a veterinarian tranquilized the seal, allowing the team to physically remove it from the area.

Rolling a 900-pound #HighwaySeal onto a tarp looks easier than I would have expected

After a medical exam, the team determined Tolay was pregnant, which came to term over the weekend.

900 lb elephant seals basically go where they want. #tolay #elephantseal https://t.co/Y3XYF6YS94

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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