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2 whales stranded in separate locations

March 13, 2009 12:06:16 PM PDT
Two whales are stranded in separate locations off the Southern California coast. A 30-foot Pacific Gray whale has been loitering for days near the entrance to the Santa Barbara Harbor.

Marine biologists said the whale looks thin and weak. It's been feeding on sand crabs. Experts are trying to figure out how to help the young whale get back on its migratory track to its home waters in the Arctic.

Another whale is stranded in San Diego Bay. It was first spotted swimming in the bay on Tuesday. Federal marine authorities say the 30-foot gray whale probably got off course when it was looking for something to eat. They're hoping that it will find its own way back into the open ocean.

In the meantime, it's become something of a tourist attraction. People are scanning the bay hoping to spot the huge visitor.

Federal authorities are urging boaters to stay at least 100 yards away from the whale. Aircrafts are advised to get no lower than 1,000 feet above it.

Marine biologist Joe Cordero estimates the whale is about a year old, and it hasn't been on its own very long. He says the best course of action is to leave the animal alone for as long as it takes for it to find its way back into the ocean. Cordero says experts have learned that trying to chase a whale back into the ocean tends to backfire. It can stress the whale and weaken its ability to migrate.


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