Okay, so…what’s going on in the East River? After a coyote in distress was rescued from rough currents near East 96th Street on Monday, it’s been reported that another surprising visitor popped up in the same vicinity on the same day: a dolphin.
Though the majestic mammals are often seen in pairs or pods, this dolphin was swimming solo for a morning dip, according to ABC7 New York. While New York City’s vast animal population is more closely associated with the, er, rodent community, there have actually been numerous dolphins detected as of late.
On April 7, a Twitter user shared a snapshot of two aquatic icons stroking through the high seas of the Lower East Side. Meanwhile, back in January, a dynamic dolphin duo made a splash in the Bronx River. The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation confirmed the sighting, tweeting, “It’s true—dolphins were spotted in the Bronx River this week! This is great news—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.”
Across town, the Hudson River has also been abuzz with the more consistent dolphin appearances, with an official from the New York Marine Rescue Center telling The New York Times in 2022, “It’s a glory to see stronger populations but also a worry because there’s increased overlap with humans and shared resources.” Their presence is a strong contrast from 10 years ago, when dolphin deaths began skyrocketing as a result of oceanic conditions.
Basically, folks are chalking the minor dolphin boom up to environmental progress, which is a welcome headline in today’s era of doom and gloom news. But as far as we’re concerned, the UES dolphin was flexing its flippers for a potential role in a Free Willy reboot. Or one-upping the coyote.