When a dolphin swam into Bolsa Chica sometime before noon Friday, the wetlands got a surprise visitor.
Now, they may have an unintended mascot. Five days and many media stories later, the dolphin still hadn't left the water near Warner Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway.
Jim Milbury, a spokesman for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, said the animal was still splashing about Wednesday.
"When I went by this morning, about 6 a.m., he was still there," Milbury said.
Authorities, he said, had stuck with their plan to let the dolphin leave when it's ready.
"We're letting him do his own thing," Milbury said. "You can't always tell what their health is just by looking at them, but from what we can see, he's healthy."
Kelly O'Reilly, a biologist for the state Department of Fish and Game, urged people to observe the dolphin from marked trails and not venture into the water.