Video: Baby sperm whale washes up on beach

updated 12/13/2010 5:05:19 PM ET 2010-12-13T22:05:19

An injured baby sperm whale was treated with antibiotics and escorted back to sea early Monday after getting stranded on rocks north of San Diego.

The young whale, 15 to 18 feet long and weighing about 3,000 pounds, was rescued from rocks at Torrey Pines State Beach near La Jolla Underwater Park on Sunday, a spokesman for SeaWorld San Diego said.

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The sex couldn't be determined, said David Koontz, director of communications for SeaWorld.

The SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team, a group of 20 veterinarians, trainers and rescue workers, arrived about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Koontz said.

"It had rubbed itself on the rocks and had minor wounds," Koontz said.

The whale was "fairly robust in its movement and was making a lot of clicking noises. It was not overly lethargic," Koontz said.

Shortly after midnight, the rescue group took the whale about a quarter mile out to sea and turned it loose.

"It swam away freely on its own, another good sign," Koontz said.

He didn't know if the whale was headed north or south. "We are hoping it stays at sea," Koontz said.

The beaching was the first of a sperm whale in 25 years in the San Diego area, NBC affiliate KNSD reported.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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