Hectors back in Wellington

HectorsDolphin_140107

One of the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphins has been seen in the harbor of New Zealand’ s capital, more than two years after the last sighting, conservation officials announced Tuesday.

The Hector’s dolphin was sighted in Wellington harbor on Monday and reported the country’s Department of Conservation (DOC), said a DOC statement.

The person who spotted the dolphin said it had “spent about five minutes zooming under and around the boat (with the engine in neutral) before disappearing,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, a spectator on shore reported seeing two dolphins.

“It is really exciting to see the return of this very special New Zealand dolphin,” DOC Kapiti Wellington biodiversity program manager Peter Simpson said in a statement.

“The next step is to try and get a high quality photograph and genetic sample of the dolphin to see if it is the same or a different individual from the one that visited us in 2009,” he said.