Dolphins Spotted 12 Miles Up N.J. River

HACKENSACK, N.J., Feb. 18 (UPI) — A pod of dolphins swam more than 10 miles up a New Jersey river, where they were spotted in downtown Hackensack this week, officials said.

Watchers saw no sign of them Thursday in the Hackensack River, The Bergen Record reported. They were seen several times Wednesday.

Bill Sheehan, head of the Hackensack Riverkeeper, said the river in Hackensack, 12 miles upstream from Newark Bay, does not have enough fish in the winter to feed eight to 15 dolphins. He also said the river is far less salty than the ocean.

“They’re in a very strange environment,” Sheehan said. “They belong in the ocean, not the Hackensack.”

Robert Schoelkopf, director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J., said he cannot organize a rescue unless the dolphins show signs of distress. He suggested one of the dolphins might have headed upriver because of a parasitic infection.

“The others just have no clue and follow the leader,” he said.

A pod of dolphins lived for months in the Shrewsbury River on the Jersey Shore in 2008. A porpoise was found dead a Hackensack tributary in 2006 and a seal discovered in Teaneck in 1985.

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Categorized | Fish, Mammals
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