Whale Makes Rare Appearance in New York Harbor by the Statue of Liberty

The whale was likely a humpback whale, according to a marine expert.

November 17, 2016, 5:41 PM

— -- Whale, whale, whale. What do we have here!

A whale made a rare appearance in New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty this morning, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Frank Iannazzo-Simmons said the whale was spotted around 8:00 a.m., reported ABC-owned station WABC in New York.

Iannazzo-Simmons added that the Coast Guard put out a travel advisory to boaters cautioning them to avoid contact with the whale.

The whale was likely a humpback, according to Howard Rosenbaum, ocean giants director at the Wildlife Conservation Society based in New York City.

Rosenbaum told WABC that a population of humpback whales is known to swim near the shore between Fire Island and Brooklyn in New York.

"We have some of the largest animals on the planet in our own backyard," he said. He added that the sighting in New York Harbor this morning was "a reawakening to New Yorkers of all the amazing marine life in our waters."

The whale was likely feeding on Atlantic menhaden, also known as bunker fish, which are currently abundant in the area, Rosenbaum said.