Double Dolphin Sightings Spark Excitement, Good News for NYC Habitats

Dolphins were spotted in the Bronx River earlier this week -- and the city's parks department says it's a good thing

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Two dolphin sightings in the past few days have New Yorkers buzzing.

The animals not typically associated with NYC waterways were first spotted exploring the Bronx on Monday at Starlight Park. Videos capturing their unusual visit to the borough's Bronx River garnered excitement and millions of views.

Then on Wednesday, two dolphins were also seen in Newtown Creek near Grand Street Bridge, between Brooklyn and Queens. (Nope, it's not their natural habitat.)

"More recently what we’ve seen is that sometimes these animals, these particular dolphins, will make their way into these river systems potentially in search of food, some of their prey that they feed on and seemingly not showing signs of distress," Howard Rosenbaum, WCS Ocean Giants program director, said.

Seemingly healthy, just swimming through in search of food, the dolphins delighted many onlookers lucky enough to catch them.

Their sightings are just the latest in a string of special wildlife visits since last summer at Starlight Park.

"Hundreds of thousands of fish filling up this part of the river, then recently a bald eagle came here just sat on the dock behind us and had lunch. So what we’re seeing is that the little changes were making over the years are adding up," Christian Murphy, ecology coordinator at the Bronx River Alliance, said.

The Bronx River Alliance has worked for more than 20 years with partners like NYC Parks and the Wildlife Conservation Society to reclaim the river and surrounding areas, so moments like the dolphins's return are possible.

"The more we pick up trash, the more we create these green spaces and get rid of abandoned parking lots and industrial wasteland and turn that back into beautiful vegetation, that actually helps the river," Murphy said.

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