A pair of whales drew a crowd of onlookers as the giant marine mammals swam in shallow river waters near the shore of Seal Beach on Monday.
The two whales, each roughly 22 feet long, were spotted in the San Gabriel River near the Marina Drive bridge, Seal Beach lifeguards told KTLA just after 10 a.m. They were first seen in the river on Sunday, lifeguards said.
Wildlife officials told KTLA the whales did not appear to be stuck, but the animals were being monitored by lifeguards and experts from a marine mammal center.
"They are doing one of two things ... scratching barnacles off themselves or feeding," said Seal Beach lifeguard Chief Joe Bailey.
Bailey said lifeguards were working to keep onlookers, boats and paddleboarders at least 100 feet from the whales.
"We don’t want to put pressure on them," Bailey said. "They are doing what whales are gonna do, which is eating and swimming around.”
Shortly before noon, the marine mammals could be seen thrashing about and swimming in the water as dozens of onlookers snapped photos from the nearby jetty, Sky5 aerial video over the scene showed.
The whales moved closer toward the ocean in the early afternoon, but stayed within the river channel.
KTLA's Steve Bien and Melissa Pamer contributed to this story.