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Grey Whale in Dana Point Returns to Sea

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According to AP, the grey whale that has been swimming in and around Dana Point harbor for two days has begun swimming north. A team of experts from Sea World and Pacific Marine Mammal Center used a pole with a sickle this afternoon to cut away two ropes and removed more than 100 pounds of fishing net and other gear tangled around its tail and left front flipper.

There had been some concern that the whale looked sickly and perhaps had been in warm waters too long after being left behind by its pod. However, "Wildlife biologist Joe Cordaro with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Long Beach says the whale started swimming easier after the nets were removed."

Various estimates state that whale was 20-35 feet long, weighing between 20 and 30 tons. Brad Gross, Director of OC Dana Point Harbor told Mother Lode that the female whale turned out to be a juvenile and was nicknamed "Lily". Helicopters swarmed overhead and hundreds of spectators watched as the whale swim to freedom.