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Wayward SF Bay Area Sea Lion Had Been Captured Before

Marine Mammal Center / Courtesy
 

Marine Mammal Center / Courtesy

(AP) - Officials say a wayward sea lion who snarled Monday morning traffic on a San Francisco Bay Area freeway has been rescued in odd locations multiple times, indicating potential neurological damage.

The young male California sea lion is thought to have memory loss due to the lingering effects of past domoic acid exposure, the same toxin that caused the most recent Dungeness crab fishing season to be delayed.

The sea lion was rescued Monday in Sonoma County.

After losing his way before, the animal had previously been treated for malnutrition.

Officials say it's possible that the animal's mother unknowingly exposed him to domoic acid in utero or while nursing him as a pup.

The recent resuce is one of more than 80 young California sea lions currently in the center's care, more than four times the average seen in a typical year.