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NEW YORK – Nature lovers in New York City were treated to an impressive sight this week – a humpback whale swimming and splashing in New York Harbor.

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According to Reuters, many of the sightings occurred Tuesday near the Statue of Liberty. Bjoern Kils, captain of the New York Media Boat, captured photos of the marine mammal with the landmark and other attractions in the background, the news agency reported.

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The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation tweeted that whale sightings in the area have been on the rise over the past several years.

“Reasons for the uptick may include an improvement in local water quality and an abundance of food sources like Atlantic menhaden,” the tweet read.

Research group Gotham Whale identified the whale as No. 89, which was first spotted two years ago, according to WNBC-TV.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a #HumpbackWhale in the #HudsonRiver,” the organization added in a tweet. “In 2016, we had one stay for a week!”

In another tweet, the group cautioned mariners to slow down and watch out for the whale.

Kils told Reuters that the harbor has seen a decrease in boat traffic because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The whale has a very good chance of getting out into the ocean,” he told the news agency.

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