Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A juvenile gray whale spotted swimming without its mother in shallow waters off California drew a crowd of astonished onlookers.
The approximately 18-foot-long gray whale was spotted Monday swimming in the shallow waters off Belmont Shore, one day after a whale believed to be the same animal was reported swimming in similarly shallow waters off Long Beach.
"I don't know how many times I kept on saying it was incredible," witness Vera Kazerouni told KABC-TV. "It was so cool. I've never seen a whale like that."
The Long Beach Fire Department said the whale had been seen swimming out to sea about 7:45 p.m. Sunday, but did not appear to be in good health.
"They have noticed the whale doesn't have a lot of weight on," marine safety Capt. Cameron Abel of the Long Beach Fire Department. "It's starting to show less muscle mass and ribs sticking out, so it's not in good condition."
Peter Wallerstein with El Segundo-based nonprofit Marine Animal Rescue told KTLA the whale is the same young gray animal seen earlier this month in various locations off Southern California. He said the whale likely became separated from its mother and swam up from the Mexican state of Baja California.