40-foot humpback whale stuck in Southern California harbor

VENTURA, Calif. (AP/WFLA) — A humpback whale swam into a Southern California harbor and got stuck there, drawing spectators and news helicopters as boat crews try to guide it out to the open water.

Ventura Harbor Patrol officials say the whale was spotted Saturday afternoon and has been swimming back and forth in the harbor.

A wildlife expert said the approximately 40-foot-long whale appeared to be a healthy juvenile. Jen Levine, the stranding operations and animal care manager for the Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute, says rescuers plan to use a hydrophone that plays underwater whale sounds to guide the whale out of the harbor.

The Coast Guard, the National Parks Service and local authorities were involved in the effort.

Our NBC affiliate in Los Angeles says officials eventually left the whale alone. They say it was gone this morning, and most likely made its way back to the ocean overnight.

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