published on August 9, 2017 - 9:31 AM
Written by Edward Smith

(AP) — Southern California beachgoers have gotten up close and personal with a baby whale.

A gray whale about 15 to 18 feet long cruised into Dana Point Harbor on Tuesday morning. It swam into a shallow children’s area called Baby Beach and circled a pier.

Kayakers were able to get within a few feet of the animal, which at one point swam under paddleboarders.

Capt. Dave Anderson, who runs whale watching tours out of the harbor, says the whale appeared to be a skinny juvenile who was foraging in the mud.

He says it’s probably the same whale that was spotted Monday farther south in a Carlsbad lagoon.

The whale eventually left the harbor. Anderson says it may be moving up the coast and could find its way to Oregon.

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