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Lost dolphin wanders into Calif. wetlands

Wayward dolphin winds up in Southern California wetlands; rescue to be attempted By The Associated Press

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) ' A dolphin wandered into a narrow channel in a wetlands on Friday, circling in shallow waters as news helicopters roared overhead and rescuers considered how to return it to the ocean.

The 7-foot-long black-and-white common dolphin was spotted in a channel of the Bolsa Chica wetlands. The adult dolphin was swimming in tight circles near a road.

The crowd of gawkers, news vans and hovering helicopters appeared to be stressing the dolphin, said Kelly O'Reilly of the California Department of Fish and Game, who manages the reserve. "We can't leave it here because it's just going to get more stressed and it could potentially beach itself," she told KNX-AM radio.

Dean Gomersall, animal care supervisor at the nonprofit Pacific Marine Mammal Center, said the dolphin wasn't "sick at all, he's just kind of lost in this area."

Rescuers may try to corral the dolphin into a safe area and net it so it can be placed in a harness and taken back to the ocean, Gomersall said.

The wayward dolphin apparently got into the channel through a small hole in a tidal gate beneath a bridge linking the wetlands and Huntington Harbour, Gomersall said. The dolphin belongs to a pod of six that was spotted in the harbor earlier this week, he said.

The other five dolphins remained in the harbor and may have to be coaxed back out to sea, Gomersall said.

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Related Keywords:Dolphin in Wetlands,Wetlands,Environment and nature


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