Humpback whale spotted in N.J. river

(U.S. Coast Guard file photo.)

(U.S. Coast Guard file photo.)

A humpback whale was spotted in a Jersey Shore river on Friday morning, authorities said.

New Jersey state troopers with the Marine Services Bureau responded to the Route 36 bridge over the Shrewsbury River in northern Monmouth County on a report of a humpback whale in the waterway.

Another police vessel arrived with a member of the Brigantine-based Marine Mammal Stranding Center to assess the whale’s condition.

Authorities say that preliminarily, the whale appears to be healthy and feeding, and they are advising boaters to avoid the area.

“Additional boat traffic may scare the whale and prevent it from leaving the river and/or negatively impact its health,” a New Jersey State Police release said.

The Shrewsbury River is accessible to the Atlantic Ocean through the Sandy Hook Bay.

Officials ask the public to report sightings of entangled marine mammals and sea turtles to the NOAA hotline at (866) 755-6622.

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