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Humpback whale makes surprise visit to New York City

Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A humpback whale paid a visit to the Hudson River in New York City and was seen surfacing and spouting water in front of the Statue of Liberty and other landmarks.

Witnesses first reported spotting a whale off New York Harbor about 4:15 p.m. Monday, and the gigantic ocean mammal was spotted again the following day.

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Research and advocacy group Gotham Whales warned boaters to steer clear of the whale as it spent several hours cruising around the area.

Gotham Whales officials said they were able to identify the whale by its dorsal fins.

"This whale is whale No. 89 and the first time we saw this whale was back in 2018, so two years ago," Sarah Ryan Hudson, a citizen scientist with the organization, told NBC New York.

Hudson said the whale appears to be behaving normally for the species.

"If a whale entered the harbor and it wasn't eating, we might be concerned that there might be something wrong with it. It's disoriented ... it doesn't know where it's going. But since it's eating, we're not as concerned," she said.

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A whale previously made headlines for visiting the Hudson River in 2016.

The city's Parks Department said the most recent visitor may have been drawn in by the improved quality of the local water and the abundance of food sources.

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