A black-and-white common dolphin who has been hanging out in the Bolsa Chica Wetlands of Southern California has made a break for the ocean at last, and he should be just fine said a marine mammal specialist.
The wayward dolphin nicknamed 'Bolsa Chica Bob,' drew quite a crowd when he was first discovered circling in shallow waters in Orange County's Bolsa Chica wetlands on April 27. And although attempts to encourage him to head for the open ocean were thwarted, he finally found his own way back to deeper waters.
According to the Washington Post, the 5-foot-long, 250-pound common dolphin left the shallows last Friday.
Rescue specialist and director of Marine Animal Rescue – Peter Wallerstein, told the Post that "a volunteer watched the dolphin leave the Bolsa Chica wetlands and swim into adjacent Huntington Harbour on Friday." He hasn't been seen since.
Experts had attempted to urge the dolphin toward the open ocean on April 28, but efforts went awry when the mammal was aggressively attacked by a small group of its peers who forced the dolphin back into the wetlands. Rather than risk further confrontation and possible injury to the mammal, a second rescue attempt planned for April 30 was cancelled, and the dolphin was left to leave on his own.
And leave he did.
Wallerstein said he believes that Bob, will do just fine, although why the dolphin was in the wetlands in the first place remains a mystery. According to said ARKive, common dolphins are rarely seen this close to shore, preferring deeper waters in excess of 590 feet.
Cara Sands from from Friends of the Dolphins, a group that investigates and documents the capture, care and confinement of marine mammals told Digital Journal that sometimes, and for reasons unknown, "dolphins seek out solitude, even in the absence of poor health."