On January 19, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation confirmed that dolphins were spotted in the Bronx River.
Onlooker Nick Banco spotted the dolphins and captured the sighting on video earlier this week. Mr. Banco saw the dolphins swimming in the Bronx River by Starlight Park, according to the Bronx River Alliance.
The video shows a pair of dolphins surfacing in the chilly water just south of the Bronx Zoo.
The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation tweeted the video sharing that “it shows that the decades-long effort to restore the river as a healthy habitat is working. We believe these dolphins naturally found their way to the river in search of fish.”
The department further shared, “we encourage you to welcome these dolphins to the Boogie Down [a nickname for the Bronx]! Make sure that they’re comfortable during their visit by giving them space and not disturbing them.”
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, this isn’t the first time dolphins have been spotted in New York City. Bottlenose dolphins have become frequent visitors to the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary in fact.
It also marks the second time in close succession that a surprising animal spotting has occurred in the Bronx. According to the Bronx River Alliance, a bald eagle was spotted five separate times on the Bronx River in December.
The Bronx River Alliance, a nonprofit that works to protect and restore the river, also shared on Twitter that “There seem to be more dolphin pods swimming near NY Harbor!”
Due to a decrease in industrial pollution, there has actually been an increase in sightings of marine mammals in the waters around New York.
This dolphin spotting follows other ‘famous’ dolphin sightings which took place during the pandemic. Waters near Hong Kong and canals around Venice had similar sightings of dolphins which surprised onlookers.