Strange animals reported lurking in river

SACRAMENTO (KTXL) -- It's been 31 years since Humphrey the humpback whale made the first of two unlikely trips up the Sacramento River, and nine years since Delta and Dawn bested his route inland and had to be rescued themselves.

Now another "big fish" tale of sorts may be developing in our region.

And Jaime Botello has heard a lot over the last two days while tending bar on Sacramento's Delta King.

"A seal and dolphin sighting, and I thought that was kind of odd. I thought maybe the seal, because we do have a seal that comes up and down, especially in the summer time, to feed on the salmon," Botello said. "But then I didn't understand what the dolphin thing was about. And then this morning one of our hotel guests came in and said that she had seen a dolphin swimming toward the Tower Bridge."

That's right; two days and two sightings of what some Delta King customers were sure was a dolphin in distress, tangled in something but still swimming.

The state's Department of Fish and Wildlife doesn't handle marine life.

No one captured any pictures of the creature, which has made investigating difficult for the Marine Mammal Center, which is two hours away in Sausalito.

Experts there have fielded a report about the potential bottlenose dolphin in distress, but say its more likely what was spotted was a porpoise -- if anything.

Since's it's focus is shore versus in-water rescue, the center has reached out to Golden Gate Cetacean Research, which plans to have a crew out looking for whatever may be out there in the next few days.

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