The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office were called in after discovering that the lumbering animal had become separated from its group and was sitting atop a hill alongside Highway 1 in the coastal Californian city, as the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.
After blocking off the road, deputies called in experts from California Fish and Wildlife and the Marine Mammal Center, who coaxed the massive animal down using large red paddles to grab its attention. Eventually, the elephant seal was reunited with the rest of its crew, lounging in the sand and along the water near San Simeon.
The Marine Mammal Center said the animal likely lost a fight with an older bull and wandered off to lick its wounds before getting lost.
The video of deputies helping guide the elephant seal to safety was posted to the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page and was shared more than 2,000 times in less than 24 hours.
Along with the video, the sheriff’s office shared a caption shedding some light on the day-to-day activities of their deputies.
“You never know what your day will look like when you put on your uniform,” it read. “Today it was one of our local elephant seals that needed help finding his way home!”