Lost Dolphin Stranded Off Southern California Coast
Since April 27th, a lost, seven foot dolphin has been swimming in a narrow wetlands channel off the coast of Southern California. His pod entered the channel in pursuit of a school of fish. When the others veered back, one lone dolphin stayed behind in the Bolsa Chica wetlands.
Crowds gathered to watch as Department of Fish and Game officers on paddleboards tried to nudge the animal into open sea. They succeeded Saturday, but the lost dolphin was spooked when it caught sight of an unrelated pod swimming in circles nearby.
Diving beneath the paddleboarders, the dolphin swam back into the wetlands. Peter Wallerstein, a marine biologist with the Marine Animal Rescue service, said,
If he were sick or injured, we’d be a little more aggressive in our rescue attempts, but we’ve assessed we’ve got a healthy animal here, so the best thing to do right now is to see what happens.
One of the spectators shot the video footage below, which shows the dolphin swimming in circles. Officials have asked people to stay well away from the dolphin so as not to distract the lonely swimmer while it finds it way back to open sea.
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Photo from krumbecker via flickr