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Dolphin In Huntington Beach's Bolsa Chica Wetlands Finally Makes It To The Ocean

05/07/12 01:20 PM ET AP

Dolphin Huntington Beach Bolsa Chica
A dolphin swims in wetlands at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach, Calif., Monday, Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- A wayward dolphin that spent more than a week in a Southern California wetlands channel has made its way back to sea.

Marine mammal rescue specialist Peter Wallerstein says a volunteer watched the dolphin leave the Bolsa Chica wetlands and swim into adjacent Huntington Harbour on Friday. It hasn't been seen since.

The 5-foot-long, 250-pound common dolphin was spotted circling in the shallow waters of Bolsa Chica on April 27. Experts said it appeared healthy and may have entered the channel while chasing fish.

A day after it was spotted, the animal was coaxed toward the ocean but apparently became spooked by a pair of fellow dolphins and swam back into the channel.

However, Wallerstein says the dolphin has now left – and he thinks it will do just fine.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Photos and captions by the Associated Press.
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A dolphin swims in Orange County's Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Friday, April 27, 2012.

Marine mammal experts in Southern California have decided to wait and see whether this dolphin that strayed into a shallow wetlands channel can find its way out.

The healthy, strong and fast dolphin will not let people get close, and officials say it could be harmful to the animal and rescuers if a capture is attempted.

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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Filed by Anna Almendrala  |