HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — California Department of Fish and Game officials Friday were trying to coax two dolphins out of the wetlands off the Pacific Coast Highway in Orange County.
The mammals were first spotted in the Bolsa Chica Wetlands south of Warner around 7 a.m. Officials believe they may have been attracted to the area due to an abundant supply of fish in the preserve.
Rescuers have entered the water and used paddle boards to splash around and encourage the dolphins to exit the shallow waters, but it appears they are in no hurry to leave, CBS2 Michele Gile reported.
“We did make a very gentle approach into the water early this morning . . . to establish our presence there,” Melissa Sciacca, a marine mammal expert, said.
The dolphins appear to be healthy and are not in danger, according to officials from the Pacific Marine Mammals Center, who are leading the effort to coax the pair back to the ocean.
The dolphins must endure a two-mile swim under a bridge and through Huntington Harbor in order to get back to open water.
“They are perfectly capable of swimming out to the ocean at this point. There is nothing that is actually keeping them here other than they’re just choosing to be here,” Sciacca said.
The public is being asked to stay away from the area.
In May of 2012, a dolphin spent several days in Bolsa Chica wetlands before swimming out to sea.