While Rockaway Beach is dealing with its share of shark sightings, over in the Hudson River, boaters, kayakers and paddleboarders are being treated to magical dolphin sightings.
A video of one such dolphin encounter that a kayaker in the Hudson recorded this week has gone viral. In the video, a dolphin is seen swimming alongside the kayaker and breaching the surface of the water nearby.
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The encounter happened on Sunday, when kayaker Habiba Hussain and her fellow boater spotted around three dolphins near West 125th Street around 1pm, according to W42ST.com.
The dolphins stayed “playing” near the kayakers for about an hour until motor boats came through, the outlet says.
“I still have a smile on my face,” she told W42ST.com. “I never thought I’d see a dolphin in New York City until we heard that some people had seen them earlier in the year.”
Hussain is right—there have been other sightings of the mammals this year, not only in the Hudson but in the East River and in New York Harbor. Cleaner waters, warmer waters due to climate change, and the return of menhaden to the river are all possible reasons why there have been more sightings, according to The New York Times.
Maxine Montello, an official at the New York Marine Rescue Center, told the paper that there have been a “ton of sightings.”
“It’s a glory to see stronger populations but also a worry because there’s increased overlap with humans and shared resources,” she said.
The Wildlife Conservation Society has been studying why dolphin populations have been rebounding in our waters, according to the Times, and has found that they have been dining on fish mostly in the Lower Bay off Staten Island, but some in the Upper Bay, closer to Manhattan, just off Brooklyn, usually late summer into the fall.
Dr. Howard C. Rosenbaum of the WCS told the Times that this is becoming the “new normal.” You can read more about the study here.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.