Great White Shark Sighting Prompts New South Wales Beach Closures

Dustin Wicksell

Beaches in Newcastle, Australia, remained closed midway through Sunday after a great white shark was spotted off the coast, possibly with a young pup in tow.

Lifeguards sighted the great white, which they described as five-meters-long, around 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, according to the Border Mail. Swimmers were immediately removed from the water, and only Newcastle beach was left open, before another shark alarm sounded around 4:30, prompting the closure of the entire coastline. Lifeguards on jetskis approached the white shark to confirm the sighting, and continued to monitor the shark's movements, with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter at their disposal.

— NBN News (@nbnnews) January 11, 2015

Early reports indicated that the great white may have had a pup with it, though that assertion hasn't been confirmed. Little is known about the reproductive cycle of white sharks, as the birth of a great white pup has never been observed. Though white sharks are known to deliver their young in the spring or summer months, the social order of the species and habits of juvenile great whites are poorly understood at best.

— Robbie McDonald (@RobbieAMcDonald) January 9, 2015

[Image: Nicholas Tonks via the Newcastle Herald]

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