HUDSON — City police have had to deal with their share of wildlife over the years, including several bears this spring, a moose last year, occasional coyotes, and bald eagles.
But a reported shark that was spotted in the Hudson River on Friday morning has a lot of people shaking their heads.
A one-minute long video of the shark was taken by local fisherman James Gabriel, Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said.
Gabriel shared the video with Hudson police in hopes of getting word out that a shark may be in the area, and people who use the Hudson River should be alert to that, Moore said.
Although conditions are a bit cold for swimming, many people canoe, kayak and fish on the river this time of year, and Moore wanted them to know what they might bump into.
The video shows what might be the fin of a shark that is swimming north between Hudson and Athens.
It was recorded facing west near the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, with Athens buildings clearly in view, Moore said.
Although it cannot be determined conclusively from the video, the dorsal fin gliding at the surface in a straight line would indicate that it is a shark, said state Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Erica Ringewald.
“There isn’t much in that video that reveals its diagnostic features, but it looks very small and without additional information, most likely a smooth dogfish,” Ringewald said.
A smooth dogfish, also known as a dog shark, is a species of houndshark. On average, a fully grown dog shark averages about four feet in length, according to DEC.
DEC has received reports of smooth dogfish swimming in the Hudson, although not so far up river, Ringewald said.
The type of shark spotted in the Hudson River on Friday has not been confirmed, but there have been no reports of anyone being injured by one.
Referencing a line from the movie “Jaws,” Moore remarked Friday afternoon, “I’m going to have to close the beaches.”