Wayward gray whale hanging out in Newport Beach Harbor – Orange County Register

NEWPORT BEACH — A juvenile gray whale that has been making news along the Southern California coastline this week remains in Newport Beach Harbor.

The approximately 20-foot-long whale was spotted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol in Back Bay at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 11.

The area is a spot in the harbor where boats don’t go, said Alisa Schulman-Janiger, who runs the  American Cetacean Society’s Los Angeles Chapter Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project at Point Vicente off Palos Verdes.

The year-old whale first made headlines and drew the attention of hundreds in San Diego when it was spotted in a lagoon near Carlsbad on Monday. On Tuesday, it visited Dana Point Harbor for seven hours and led Harbor Patrol and a group of stand-up paddleboarders in laps around the harbor trying to shoo it out.

On Wednesday there was no news but on Thursday, the whale reappeared near noon just off Davey’s Locker Whale, a popular whale-watch and sportfishing business in the harbor. By nightfall, boat captains reported seeing it near Lido Island.

Reports of the whale’s escapades have led some people to be concerned that it is in distress or lost. But Schulman-Janiger said the whale’s behavior is normal and that it is simply hugging the coastline and exploring.

“It’s  not a lost baby looking for its mommy,” she said…

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