A glorious humpback whale was spotted in the Hudson River swimming towards some popular tourist attractions.
The humpback managed to pose for a few pretty great photo ops as it traversed waters near the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Battery Park.
— Reuters UK (@ReutersUK) December 9, 2020
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Though many New Yorkers were taken aback by the marine mammal’s presence in the Hudson, it’s actually not that uncommon.
“We’re aware, but it’s pretty normal that we get whales out there,” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Anthony Pappaly told Reuters.
The Coast Guard said it would only intervene if the mammal became endangered or entangled in some way. The majestic creature was free to explore the socially distanced city.
Bjoern Kils, who operates a New York Media Boat that transports news crews, saw the whale near Ellis Island where Lady Liberty is located.
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“It’s a bit of a silver lining with COVID-19 that there’s not much boat traffic out here and the whale has a very good chance of getting out into the ocean,” Kils told Reuters. “As we were passing the Statue of Liberty, it flung its tail out of the water — twice!”
Whale sightings in New York City might seem unusual, but they’ve become more frequent — and that’s actually a good thing. The increasing presence of humpbacks in the Hudson means the river is cleaner, and thusly is a great source of food for our sea-dwelling mammal friends.
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