Bolsa Chica dolphin still trapped, bullied by other dolphins
(CNS) – After watching a common dolphin in the shallows of the Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve get bullied by dolphins in the Huntington Harbour Saturday, wildlife experts planned to leave the roughly 500- pound sea mammal alone today and not try to prod it back into the ocean unless its health deteriorates.
“We’re going to observe, and make decisions minute by minute,” said veteran sea mammal wrangler Peter Wallerstein of the El Segundo-based nonprofit Marine Animal Rescue group. “It could be a death blow to the dolphin if we force him or her out of the wetlands,” into a pod that would bully it, Wallerstein said. “Dolphins can be aggressive, even amongst themselves.”
So far, the dolphin has plenty of food and water in the wetland, even during low tide, he said. “There’s no reason to do anything prematurely. It’s breathing rate is good.”
Marine mammal experts were able to get the nearly 7-footer under the Warner Avenue overpass into deeper water in Huntington Harbour Saturday, where some other dolphins apparently bullied it and it retreated back into the lagoon. “It looked scared, but it swam well,” Wallerstein said.
The dolphin likely followed some food into the shallow, marshy area during a high tide on Thursday or Friday, when it first drew a crowd, including a diver who wanted to get a closer look and several people on paddle boards who tried to shoo the big adult back into the harbor.
Wallerstein urged people to keep their distance. Though generally not aggressive, dolphins — which use their speed and torpedo shape to ram enemies – – can be dangerous.