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Unique tourist

AUG. 17 — For nearly two weeks something unusual has been catching the eye of New York City boaters. A male manatee has been spotted swimming in the Hudson River from the Chelsea Piers north to WestchesterCounty.

The manatee, called “Tappie” by some because of its apparent preference for the Tappan Zee Bridge section of the river, was first seen swimming north off Delaware, then Maryland and then New Jersey, the Associated Press reported.

“It was gigantic,” one Hudson River boater says of the manatee in the report. “When we saw it surface, its back was just mammoth.”

Manatees, which are endangered marine mammal that can weigh more than 2,000 pounds, are more commonly found off Florida. Although it is rare for the mammals to stray far from the warm shallows off the SunshineState, they have reportedly been found as far north as Long Island and Rhode Island.

“I’m 70 years old, and I’ve been on the river my entire life,” another New York City boater says in the report. “I’ve seen dolphins and everything else, but never a manatee.”

— Jason Fell