Chevy Heads Back to Sea

A wayward sea lion who ended up at a Del Mar strip mall was released back into the wild on Tuesday.

Chasing Chevy, as he was dubbed by his caretakers at SeaWorld, seemed happy to jump off a boat in deep water and return to his marine mammal way's. He was released in good health about 5 miles offshore on Tuesday morning. SeaWorld also released three other sea lions at the same time that had been cared for by park workers.

The sea lion came to the public's attention early in March. Two women called police late one night, reporting that a sea lion was roaming around Flower Hill Mall in Del Mar.

"He was just right in the parking lot, right where the cars would be and everything," SeaWorld Asst. Curator of Mammals Eric Otjen said at the time.

The young sea lion was chilling out in the parking lot near Albertsons grocery store and Chevy's restaurant -- which is where he got his name. Officers cordoned off the sea lion, which under different circumstances could have been dangerous.  Sea lions can be really aggressive, but not this little guy.

"He was real mellow," Otjen said. "It was the middle of the night, they like to sleep like we do," Otjen said.  "He didn't try to bite or run away or anything."

The theory is that Chevy probably came into the lagoon from the San Diegito River and then crossed the street.

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