In dramatic video taken by Queens resident Bobby Leonard, a few whales are shown hanging out off of Rockaway Beach. DNAinfo New York reports that the whales have spent the last couple weeks eating and playing in the water at times coming very close to surfers and boats.
In the video from Leonard you can see a whale leap out of the water just a few hundred feet from the coast. Rob DiGiovanni, the director of the Riverhead Foundation, tells DNAinfo that the whales are likely humpback whales. This means they are federally protected and it's illegal to be within 50 feet of them. "The general public should not be getting that close, and they can exacerbate the animals," DiGiovanni said.
Check out the video of Leonard's close encounter with the whales below. Warning: NSFW - language
Photo Credit: Getty Images/LUIS ROBAYO