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Babysitter watching over whale in marina

June 19, 2009 12:38:31 PM PDT
A wayward gray whale that's been hanging around Marina Del Rey for three weeks now has a new babysitter.A wildlife expert from the National Marine Fisheries Service has been sent in to monitor the whale's health and protect it from curious onlookers.

The agency hasn't made an attempt to coax the whale out to sea. Experts say that would be too stressful for the 25-foot-long marine mammal.

"You never know if it's going to be successful," said Joe Cordaro, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fisheries Service.

The whale apparently lost its way while migrating from Baja, Mexico, to Alaska.

Cordaro says if the whale gets too stressed it could use up its metabolic reserves, which it needs to finish its migration to Alaska.

Experts hope the whale will leave the marina on its own.

The mammal is creating logistical problems for boaters who are being told to stay away from it or face a fine. Boat rental agents are discouraging people from renting boats, since novice boaters could get too close to the whale by accident.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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