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New York Whale: Humpback Startles Two Cousins Off Staten Island

Nov 04, 2015 05:17 PM EST
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A humpback whale was recently spotted by fishermen in a boat off Staten Island, New York, not far from the island's southwest coast, according to Anthony D'Angelis, who was fishing with his cousin Joe Massa. D'Angelis posted two cellphone photos and a video of the breaching whale, and answered questions about them on a Facebook group for nature photos over the weekend.

The sighting took place late in the afternoon on Oct. 30, and the cousins are heard on the video shouting in surprise as the whale breaches. They were off Mount Loretto Unique Area, a park on the island, in Raritan Bay, which stretches between Staten Island and New Jersey's Sandy Hook peninsula. 

"It looked like the side of a freakin' Volkswagen!" said D'Angelis, according to an article in the Staten Island Advance.

It is fairly uncommon to see whales in the area, said Paul Sieswerda in the Advance article. Sieswerda is founder of Gotham Whale, an organization that has tracked certain marine mammals in the New York City area since 2011. "We have only a few reports of whales that far into Raritan Bay," said Sieswerda, according to the Advance. The organization has noted a total of 252 whales from 2011 to 2014, according to its website.

"It came up near a 23-foot boat and made that boat look tiny," said D'Angelis in the Advance article.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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