Sea World officials and lifeguards returned to try and rescue a sick or injured dolphin off the coast of Encinitas Wednesday, but the dolphin had vanished.
Sea World got the call around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday that a dolphin was in distress. The animal was seen swimming in the waters north of Leucadia. Lifeguards found the dolphin about 50 yards from the beach, just on the other side of the surf line.
Animal experts estimate the dolphin to be about 10-12 feet long weighing 4,600 pounds.
Encinitas lifeguards worked with officials from Sea World Tuesday night to keep an eye on the animal with help from the light of a helicopter up above. Responders were ready to make a rescue if the dolphin came to close to the shore. They still don't know what's wrong with it.
"One of the things that they're trying to find out if it was natural causes or if it was human interdiction," sheriff’s spokesperson Jan Caldwell said.
Sea World has alerted lifeguards up and down the coast to look out for the dolphin.