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Not fin-tastic! Dolphins spotted in filthy Newtown Creek

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Is Hollywood filming a remake of “Flipper” in the Newtown Creek?

It certainly looks that way now that two dolphins have been sighted in and near the filthy waterway — a natural disaster that has grabbed the attention of local biologists, teachers and even the U.S. Coast Guard!

The most-recent sighting was on Wednesday morning, when Harbor School teacher Ann Fraioli was taking her class on a tour of the toxic waterway.

“We spotted a dorsal fin in the distance — sure enough, it was a dolphin making its way up the creek,” Fraioli said. “We tried to get him to turn around, but, alas, he was headed up the creek into the muck.”

Any marine biologist worth her weight in oysters knows that a swim into a disgustingly polluted waterway like this can be deadly — just think about poor “Sludgie” the whale, the Minke who died in the Gowanus Canal in 2007.

That’s why the U.S. Coast Guard and Riverhead Foundation biologists will monitor sightings closely to make sure the wildlife isn’t disoriented or distressed, said Riverhead Foundation Executive Director Rob DiGiovanni. If there are signs that the dolphin — which we’ve appropriately named “Slimey” (but respectfully!) — is confused or sickly, the foundation will consider a rescue mission, he added.

“But we’re not too concerned at this point — from the pictures, it looks to be a common dolphin that’s not distressed,” DiGiovanni said. “It’s unusual to see it in Newtown Creek, but not odd. It’s a free-ranging animal, so it’s going to move around a lot.”

The Coast Guard also got reports that another common dolphin was spotted on Tuesday in the East River — headed straight for Newtown Creek (and they say these are intelligent animals!). Officials believe that this dolphin is not the same as the one that has been sighted in the creek.

Despite a reputation for being social creatures, dolphins should not interact with humans. DiGiovanni warned people to stay at least 50 yards away, as dolphins can become stressed easily.

People who spot large marine wildlife in the Newtown Creek, are urged to call the Riverhead Foundation at (631) 369-9829.

Updated 5:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Harmony from Park Slope says:
Ewww, those dolphins are totally gross. No wonder that they are called the rats of the ocean.
Perhaps if the fat cats in city hall weren't busy with their foie gras lunches they would get up and install some more dolphin traps in the water.
March 5, 2010, 8:39 am
john from clinton hills says:
who knew there were hipster dolphins?
March 5, 2010, 3:18 pm
Janice Lolly from Gowanas says:
Yes for Harmony - dolphins are nasty.
March 5, 2010, 8:32 pm
donna from greenpoint says:
What is wrong with you people. Dolphins are not gross. The creek and you guys are gross.Sounds like your pretty dumb too.
March 5, 2010, 8:40 pm
Janice lolly from Gowanas says:
@donna- have you ever seen a dolphin up close? They are covered in a thin layer of slime, and they smell. I believe that their supposed intelligence is way over estimated.
Hopefully we can get rid of them as soon as possible. Both here in the creek and furhter out in the ocean.
March 7, 2010, 5:43 am
Harmony from Park Slope says:
Happily, since the publication of this article one of the dolphins has been caught in an old tire, and was subsequently dragged ashore and beaten to death by animal control. Finally something good is coming out of this creek.
March 8, 2010, 10:42 am
Harmony from Park Slope says:
@Donna - I think you meant to write "you're" - as in "you're pretty dumb"
:-)
March 9, 2010, 5:01 am
Bayridgite from Bay Ridge says:
You folks are sick puppies--someone should call the ASPCA on you. Is one of you that woman who beat up that poor puppy? Anyway, I hope the dolphins make it to cleaner water soon. Newtown Creek is no place for critters.
March 10, 2010, 10:02 am
donna from greenpoing says:
No Harmony (child of hippies?? or English major hipster??) I meant to write ——.
March 13, 2010, 11:23 am
donna from greenpoint says:
Sorry, my use of profanity was deleted. Harmony, I think you are smug and obnoxious.
March 13, 2010, 11:24 am
donna is a dolphin from brooklyn says:
hey Donna, figures you'd support these filthy sea rats. It's a known fact that Dolphins crap in the same water they drink. How smart is that?
March 19, 2010, 3:10 pm

Comments closed.

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