Los Angeles

Emaciated Whale Swims in Shallow Waters Off Southern California Coast

The whale was seen this week off Long Beach and Seal Beach

Spectators call him Bay Boy because he keeps going from bay to bay.

A baby gray whale up to 20-feet long was spotted in the bay in Long Beach on Monday before making an appearance Tuesday to the south off Seal Beach.

The male has been working its way up the West Coast after it was somehow separated from its mother. It wowed spectators since first being spotted in Baja California a few weeks ago, then in Dana Point, Newport Beach Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro.

Over the weekend it showed up at the Long Beach oceanfront, a popular swimming area. It swam around in the channel all day.

On Tuesday morning, Capt. Scott Dixon, of the Long Beach Fire Department, said the agency received reports that the whale might have been seen off Seal Beach. There were no sightings in Long Beach since Monday night, but Mike Bolin, marine safety officer for the city of Seal Beach, said the whale was seen Tuesday morning in about 4 to 5 feet of water near the seaside Orange County community.

Swimmers and boaters were asked to stay clear of the area. 

Oscar Butao was swimming when the whale, with a big hump and barnacles came up from where he had just been.

"Crazy! Amazing. I'm like, 'why is there a whale here?'" he said.

Peter Wellerstein, director of the Marine Animal Rescue project in Los Angeles County, said the whale is emaciated, very skinny and the ribs are showing.

"It's not in good shape," he said. "There is not much we can do but try to herd it out or get it going in the right direction, but we don't want to be too invasive with it."

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