We watched television news coverage of the wayward gray whale inside Dana Point Harbor this week and wondered if marine biologists were right: All they could do is stand by, they said, even as onlookers asked if there was more that could be done.
It turned out there was: The whale, named Lily by locals, wasn't an aging mammal, as believed, but rather is a young one who had become entangled in fishnet. The debris was removed from Lily Wednesday, and it seemed she was off to the races … But on Thursday she was back.
KTLA News cites marine biologists who say the 35-to-40 foot whale's condition has improved since the nets were cast away. But there is some speculation that she should probably be with her mother moving north.
“We don't expect to see northbound gray whales after the end of April,” Tom Sullivan of the of the Ocean Institute told the station. “This is a little late. This is a straggler.”
Dean Gomersall, animal care supervisor at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, said skin that had fallen off Lily was being tested by Seaworld scientists to determine the whale's true sex. (He said he hopes it confirms she's a girl so the name Lily will stick).