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Humpback Whale Spotted In Long Island Sound Off Westport

A humpback whale (not this one but a similar one) was sighted near Cockenoe Island off of Westport.
A humpback whale (not this one but a similar one) was sighted near Cockenoe Island off of Westport. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

WESTPORT, Conn. -- A large humpback whale was spotted near Cockenoe Island off the coast of Westport Friday morning.

Police said the Marine Unit responded after they received calls of the whale near Cockenoe Island. Officers confirmed that a large humpback whale was visiting Westport, and made sure that the whale was not in distress.

The Marine Unit kept a safe perimeter around the whale until it swam into the deeper waters of Long Island Sound.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk said this is the third year in a row that a humpback whale has been spotted in Long Island Sound after a long absence, and outlined how people can keep the animals safe. Whales fall under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, meaning there are federal restrictions on how close you can get to them.

"We do not want everyone in Fairfield and New Haven counties with a boat to go chasing after this animal. Humpback whales are very large animals … bigger than most people’s boats. We do not want boaters hurt and we do not want this whale to be hurt," the Maritime Aquarium spokesperson Dave Sigworth said in a statement.

One of the three whales that showed up in the Sound two years ago was killed by blunt force trauma, which was probably due to a collision with a sailboat.

"If someone on the Sound sees a whale, we strongly urge them to cut their engines or drop their sails, and just watch. And take pictures and video. And report the sighting to john Lenzycki and Dave Hudson here at the Maritime Aquarium: jlenzycki@maritimeaquarium.org and dhudson@maritimeaquarium.org."

"Photo or video of the underside of the whale’s tail would be especially helpful. The pattern on the underside of every humpback’s tail is unique, and seeing it may help to identify the whale."

The encounter with the humpback whale was captured on video and posted to the department's Facebook page, which you can check out here .

The Norwalk Police Department Marine Unit also caught video of the whale breaching, which you can see here.

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