Hudson River Dolphin
A dolphin was spotted on Sunday afternoon (June 17th) in the Hudson River.
Lucky people out for a Sunday stroll saw the animal heading south from Harlem to Chelsea, with sightings reported from 120th Street to 14th Street. According to DNAInfo.com, which has been a terrific source for wildlife sightings in the city, a woman reported seeing the animal (probably a bottlenose dolphin) swim in circles for about half an hour near the pier at 14th Street.
Dolphins have been seen on other occasions in both the Hudson and the East River. The lower Hudson is, after all, a saltwater estuary, a body of water where salt water and fresh waters mix daily with the tides.
In addition to the whales of New York Harbor, marine mammals that have occasionally made their way into the lower Hudson include harbor seals, gray seals, a harp seal near Haverstraw, and, I kid you not, a 1000-pound manatee.
Still while the sight of a dolphin is not all that rare, the sight of a bottlenose dolphin swimming solo is apparently quite unusual. Fortunately, the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, which I first encountered after finding an adorable gray seal pup on Flying Point Beach on Long Island’s south fork, is on the job.
If you are lucky enough to spot the dolphin, please call the Riverhead Foundation right away at (631) 369-9829 to report the time, location and behavior of the animal. Assuming the dolphin is still around, the marine wildlife experts of the Riverhead Foundation will try to ascertain whether it is healthy or in need of assistance. Should the animal show signs of distress, the Foundation is well equipped to care for it with the goal of releasing it back into the wild.
As always, knowledgeable wildlife experts urge people to leave the animal alone, and NOT FEED IT, advice which seems to be surprisingly difficult for our species to heed.
Oh, and once you’ve contacted the Riverside Foundation, don’t forget to contact me! I’m guessing the dolphin has returned to the harbor, since I haven’t heard of any sightings since Sunday. But I’d love to know more about the NYC dolphin – or any other interesting wildlife encounters you may have. You can always reach me by leaving a comment on Out Walking the Dog or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember: keep your eyes peeled as you walk the city. You never know what you might see out there.