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Thursday, December 12, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Humpback whale in cleaner Hudson River may be chasing a meal

In this Nov. 20, 2016, photo, a humpback whale pops up in the waters between 48th Street and 60th Street as seen from New York City, with New Jersey visible in the background. (Craig Ruttle / Associated Press)
In this Nov. 20, 2016, photo, a humpback whale pops up in the waters between 48th Street and 60th Street as seen from New York City, with New Jersey visible in the background. (Craig Ruttle / Associated Press)
By Frank Eltman Associated Press

NEW YORK – A humpback whale seen swimming in New York’s Hudson River in recent days may be chasing a meal.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has gotten dozens of calls reporting sightings from the Statue of Liberty to well north of the George Washington Bridge, a distance of about 20 miles.

Experts say they’ve seen increased numbers of mostly humpback whales in the New York area in recent years but having one travel up the Hudson is rare.

They say river waters have become cleaner. But they think the whale was merely chasing some bunker fish up the river.

Scientists and others report seeing increasing numbers of whales off the New York coast. There is now a high-tech buoy out in the Atlantic Ocean tracking some species.

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