A whale was spotted swimming near the Statue of Liberty Thursday morning, just as wildlife officials announced that two endangered species of the aquatic mammals were detected in the waters off New York for the first time.
Video posted by Daniel Gallagher on Instagram showed the whale coming up for air — or perhaps catching a glimpse of the Manhattan skyline — near the Holland Tunnel on Thursday morning.
The Coast Guard issued an advisory to boaters after the whale was first spotted near the Statue of Liberty at about 8 a.m.
The species of the whale is unclear, but it comes not long after a high-tech buoy named "Melville" -- presumably after the writer of the classic whale-hunting novel Moby Dick -- picked up the sounds of a North Atlantic right whale and a sei whale for the first time in the New York Bight, the indentation of the Atlantic Ocean that stretches from Cape May to Montauk Point.
The buoy was deployed 22 miles south of Fire Island by the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs New York City's zoos and aquariums, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
There are thought to only be 500 North Atlantic right whales left in the world, according to the conservation society. They can grow to about 60 feet in length and were deemed the "right" whale because whalers determined it was the best species to hunt, according to the WCS. The WCS said that the buoy picked up the telltale "up call" of the animal on Oct. 26.
A sei whale, meanwhile, was detected on Oct. 31. The species can grow up to 65 feet and is rarely seen in New York waters. Like the North Atlantic right whale, sei whales were targets of commercial whalers before being added to federal and international endangered lists.
They're not the only endangered whales picked up by the buoy; the WCS said that it has made several detections of fin whales -- the world's second-largest mammal behind the blue whale -- between July 23 and Nov. 16.