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Dolphins Spotted Bobbing In The Hudson River

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Humans were not the only ones getting out and enjoying the weather in New York on Monday. The dolphins were out and about, too.

As CBS 2's Emily Smith reported, dolphins were spotted again in the Hudson River, in a visit that has managed to surprise everyday New Yorkers and experts alike.

"It was clear as day and they jumped out the water," a witness said. "There was actually one that jumped out of the water and did a spinning jump. It was beautiful."

Chopper 2 HD captured two dolphins bobbing in and out of the water early Monday morning. They appeared just off the pier at Inwood Hill Park.

Jose Garcia said  hehas been striped bass fishing for three years in northern Manhattan, but that Monday was his first dolphin sighting. He captured it on cell phone video.

"I fish here a lot, for about three years. I've never seen that," Garcia said. "Never, never seen anything like it."

Witness Gilberto Diaz Jr. added that dolphins are rare "especially in this water, because the history of this water is dirty and pollution."

An expert agreed.

"Why they're here now is a mystery to me," said Riverkeeper's John Lipscomb.

Dolphins thrive in the ocean and pristine waters – thanks to their immune systems -- but Lipscomb said these dolphin sightings could be the reward for systemic upgrades to sewage treatment infrastructure over the past decade.

"What we're seeing right here under our noses is the wilderness; it's like having the Serengeti off of 125th Street," Lipscomb said. "It's awesome, and it reminds us of the beauty of all of this life."

The Riverhead Foundation has reported more than four dolphin sightings since 2010. If the trend continues, dolphins could be the new normal in the New York urban setting.

As long the Hudson River is stocked with fish, dolphins might mill around -- wowing everyone in sight.

Experts said the only thing we know right now about the dolphins is they headed south with the fast-moving current. They're likely back in the open waters of the ocean – at least for now.

Dolphin sightings in the city have not always been good news.

In January, a dolphin died after becoming stranded in the Gowanus Canal. A necropsy determined the animal was male, middle-aged and sickly.

A bottlenose dolphin was also spotted last month in the East River near 96th Street.

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