New York City is a classic hot spot for tourists of all shapes, sizes and species -- even whales, apparently.
A humpback whale surfaced off the coast of Manhattan, and was just one of many to vacation in the city this summer, an expert said.
“It’s becoming more and more frequent,” Paul Siewada, from the Gotham Whale research division, told ABC News. “What’s caused so much commotion is that people in New York City are just becoming aware that whales are in and around New York.”
There have been 49 whale sightings around Manhattan this year, a number that has been steadily rising for the last three years, Siewada said.
“We know [the whales] go from southern waters down to the coast of the Dominican Republic during the winter and go up to Maine and Massachusetts in the summer to feed,” said Siewada. “We think the whales have found a suitable feeding ground right here in New York.”
This suitable feeding ground, thanks to cleaner water, is what’s keeping some whales hanging around instead of continuing to migrate north.
“My boat captain loves to say the New York City is the new Cape Cod,” said Siewada, so it’s safe to say we can expect more whales in the summers to come.