A gray whale has paid a visit to Marina del Rey during its migration to the north, attracting numerous onlookers as it has swum in the shallow waters of the main entrance channel for about a week.

The approximately 20-foot-long whale made a stop in Marina del Rey during its long migration toward Alaska and appears to be behaving normally, swimming in shallow water, feeding off the bottom and rubbing its belly on barnacles, said Peter Wallerstein of the Marine Animal Rescue.

“It’s normal behavior for gray whales,” Wallerstein said. “Its swimming behavior is really good and we don’t see anything alarming.”

The whale, believed to be about two years old, has been swimming around the Marina entrance channel and after swimming out to sea, it has periodically returned, he said.

Marine rescuers are concerned that the whale could get hit by unsuspecting boats and are notifying boaters of the situation and to slow down through the channel, Wallerstein said.

Marine officials do not want to alter the whale’s natural behavior by guiding it out of the channel and Wallerstein said the whale will decide to leave on its own.

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