Marine biologists were standing watch on Tuesday over a young whale that lost its way in New York harbor and nearly wandered into a narrow waterway notorious for industrial pollution. The animal, described as a juvenile minke whale about 15 feet long, was cruising around Gowanus Bay, the outlet from the mile-long Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. It appeared to be in good health and not distressed, said Kim Durham, rescue program director for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. The foundation, based in Riverhead, N.Y., specializes in cases involving whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles. Durham and other experts were dispatched to the scene after the whale was spotted early Tuesday. A television news helicopter videotaped it leaping out of the water, a behavioral trait common to whales of the baleen species. UPDATE: 4/19/2007 NYC Whale Beaches Itself, Dies Suddenly A young whale that swam aimlessly for two days in a small bay off an industrial section of Brooklyn beached itself at an oil depot dock Wednesday and died suddenly. Animal activists said the minke whale, about a year old, was too young to survive on its own. "It's very sad," said Kim Durham, a rescue specialist at the Long Island-based Riverhead Foundation for Research and Preservation, who had monitored the troubled animal's activities around the clock. "It was a very young whale that became confused and disoriented."