Los Angeles County lifeguards are taking a "wait and see" approach when it comes to a possibly ill dolphin floating off Torrance and Redondo beaches.
The lifeguards first noticed the dolphin, which belongs to the pod often seen off Redondo Beach, floating near the surface of the water shortly after 7 a.m.
According to one lifeguard at the scene, when lifeguards brought boats out to try to rescue the dolphin, other members of the pod surrounded it and stimulated it so it began swimming normally. Lifeguards did not see any wounds or objects attached to the dolphin.
Once the boats left, however, the dolphin once again started "hanging out" on top of the water.
"(The other dolphins) congregate around it to support it," said the lifeguard, who requested his name not be used as he was not speaking as a representative of the department. "They try to stimulate it."
When lifeguards contacted Peter Wallerstein of the Marine Animal Rescue, they were told to keep an eye on the dolphin.
"The lifeguards are monitoring it," said Wallerstein. "We're on call if need be."
Wallerstein suggested that there could be multiple reasons the dolphin is staying near the surface and not swimming with the rest of the pod.
"(Dolphins) have such a close social structure," he said. "It might be a punishment. It might be kind of a social thing, or it might be sick or dying."
He said dolphins have been known to prevent members of their pods from stranding themselves on the beach.
"We are concerned, but there's nothing we can do at this point," Wallerstein said. "If we have to, we'll be at the beach and rescue the dolphin if it strands."